In a shocking moment at the AFAS Theater, Rikkie Valerie Kolle, a 22-year-old transgender woman, made headlines by being crowned Miss Universe Netherlands 2023. Kolle’s victory marks the first time a transgender woman has claimed the national beauty title in the Netherlands. Defeating a field of nine biological women, Kolle now prepares to represent her country at the 72nd Miss Universe competition, to be held in El Salvador.
Biological male wins women’s beauty pageant, Miss Universe Netherlands.
Rikkie Valerie Kolle beat dozens of women to take home the crown and title.
Kolle will now compete in the women’s Miss Universe pageant, set to be held in El Salvador later this year. pic.twitter.com/myqebXyDLr
— Oli London (@OliLondonTV) July 9, 2023
Kolle’s triumph came as she dethroned the previous titleholder, Ona Moody. The event garnered attention as it showcased the diversity and inclusivity of the beauty pageant world. However, it’s worth noting that Kolle will not be the first transgender contestant in the Miss Universe competition. Back in 2018, Miss Spain Angela Ponce, also a transgender woman, participated in the contest. Ponce, unfortunately, did not advance to the finals.
Former President Donald Trump played a role in enabling transgender contestants to compete in the Miss Universe franchise during his ownership in 2012. This change in policy was sparked by the threat of a lawsuit by a Canadian transgender beauty contestant who wanted to compete for the Miss Universe Canada title. Trump’s collaboration with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) resulted in transgender model Jenna Talackova being allowed to compete.
Addressing the significance of her victory, Kolle, who has Dutch and Moluccan heritage, expressed her journey as a transgender woman in a recent Instagram post. She shared her experiences of doubting choices and navigating societal opinions, emphasizing the importance of self-acceptance and confidence. Kolle encouraged others to embrace themselves, be unapologetic, and celebrate their identity.
— Planet Cringe 😣 (@planetcringe) July 9, 2023
Kolle also disclosed that she underwent gender-affirming surgery four months ago.
And runner up is female 😭😭😭😭
— वेदीजा (@YgSeni_YuIiya) July 9, 2023