Trans model and actress, Rikkie Valerie Kollé, has won the Miss Netherlands crown, becoming the first trans winner and second openly trans woman to participate in the Miss Universe pageant.
The 22-year old Dutch-Moluccan model and actress first became notable for competing in Holland’s Next Top Model, before going on to snatch the Miss Netherlands title.
“This finalist has radiated throughout the show and has also made the greatest progress in the process,” the Miss Netherlands 2023 jury said about Rikkie.
“She has a strong story with a clear mission. The jury is convinced that the organization will enjoy working with this young woman.”
Rikkie Valerie Kollé will now go on to compete at Miss Universe, which first allowed trans women to compete in 2012 before the first trans contestant competed in 2018.
‘Yes I’m trans… but I’m also Rikkie’
The winner took to Instagram to share her pure elation after snatching the crown.
“I DID IT !!!!!” Rikkie wrote in an Instagram post after she was crowned in the pageant.
“Yes I’m trans and I want to share my story but I’m also Rikkie and that’s what matters to me.
“I did this on my own strength and enjoyed every moment.”
She went on to write: “Wherever you are in the world, I want to be there for you and be the example that I missed as a little me.”
She finished off her Instagram post with writing, “On to many more adventures, let’s get @missuniverse ready. So excited!!!”
The comment section of her post also saw a flood of support for the winner.
Queering the ‘Miss Universe’ universe
Rikkie may also be up against another trans woman, with Daniela Arroyo González competing for the title of Miss Puerto Rico title next month.
If either contestant takes home the crown of Miss Universe, they will also be joining the club of other queer Miss Universe winners.
Michelle Dee, the recently crowned Miss Universe Phillipines came out as bisexual earlier this year.
And before that, Australia’s own former Miss Universe of 2020, Maria Thattil, also came out as bisexual on last year’s I’m a Celebrity.
The competition held in El Salvador later this year will determine whether or not Rikkie Valerie Kollé becomes the first trans Miss Universe winner.
Good luck Rikkie!
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