A Transgender woman won the title of Miss Netherlands for the first time in the beauty pageant history and now has a shot at Miss Universe.
Rikkie Valerie Kolle, 22, made history by winning the title of Miss Netherlands on Sunday, July 9.
She won the title against nine finalists and was crowned by the current Miss Universe R’Bonney Gabriel.
“I DID IT!!!!!” Rikkie wrote on her Instagram.
“It’s unreal, but I get to call myself @missnederland 2023. It was an educational and beautiful journey. I’m so proud and happy I can’t even describe it. Making my community proud and showing it can be done,” the winner added.
“And yes I’m trans and I want to share my story but I’m also Rikkie and that’s what matters to me. Did this on my own and loved every moment of it,” she continued. “My dearest fellow finalists, we all put on a show, love you all girls. My dear family and friends, my N1 supporters, you have given me so much extra strength.”
“Wherever you are in the world, I want to be there for you and be the example that I myself missed as a little me,” Rikkie concluded her post.
During her journey, Rikkie formed a close bond with her fellow competitor women however, she was met with disappointment when none of them congratulated her after her victory.
“I thought we were a group and bonded after a few months, but after I won I did not get a message from every contestant and that made me really sad because I thought we were a group and doing this together,” she told Newsweek in a recent interview.
“Some did not even say congratulations, and it shocked me because I did not expect that.”
Although her close friends didn’t congratulate her on winning the title, Miss Netherlands received heartfelt congratulatory messages from some of her former competitors.
“But I will say we did have a lovely group, and we did everything well together,” Kollé added. “We gave a great show as a group… and they also really accepted me.”
Miss Universe 2023 pageant will be held in December this year in El Salvador. The exact date of the competition has not been confirmed yet.
In 2018 Angela Ponce from Spain was the first-ever trans person to participate in the Miss Universe Beauty Pageant. She represented her home country, Spain, in the international contest.
Speaking to NBC at the time, Ponce said that she never thought in her wildest dreams that she would make it to the final stage of the acclaimed Miss Universe competition.
After Ponce, Kolle is the second transgender person who is set to compete in this year’s Miss Universe pageant.
According to the Insider, “The Miss Universe Organization has made strides to be more inclusive in recent years, including last August when it was revealed mothers and married women could now compete.”
“Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip purchased the organization in October 2022. Jakrajutatip is the first woman to own Miss Universe during its 70-year history and the third richest transgender person in the world.”
Miss Netherlands, Official Instagram page, also shared Kolle’s photo on the account and wrote,
“This finalist shined throughout the show and has also made the greatest progress along the way. She has an iron-strong story with a clear mission. The jury is convinced that the organization will enjoy working with this young woman.”