Two trans contestants in Miss Universe 2023

miss universe 2023 marina machete Rikkie Kollé
Image: Marina Machete Instagram

Miss Universe 2023 will feature two trans contestants after Marina Machete won Miss Portugal last week. Marina will join Miss Netherlands Rikkie Kollé at the 72nd Miss Universe pageant this November.

Spain’s Ángela Ponce became the first transgender contestant in 2018. Before then, transgender contestant Jenna Talackova was disqualified from the Miss Universe Canada pageant in 2012 under the pageant’s previous owner, Donald Trump.  Representatives claimed the competition rules required contestants to be ‘naturally born’ women. However, after Jenna threatened legal action, Trump reversed the decision.

Trump’s office issued a statement saying “as long as she meets the standards of legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, which we understand that she does, Jenna Talackova is free to compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant.”

Miss Universe 2023

Miss Universe 2023 will take place in El Salvador on November 18. In addition to transgender contestants, the pageant now allows married and divorced women, pregnant women and women with children. Additionally, Miss Universe 2023 will be the last time women over 28 are banned from entering the competition.

Under new owner, Thai trans businesswoman Jakkaphong Jakrajutatip, Miss Universe has become a far more inclusive pageant. In a statement to CNN this week, the organisation said, “Starting next year, every adult woman in the world will be eligible to compete to be Miss Universe.”

Marina Machete on Instagram


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A post shared by Ms Portugal ® (@missportugaloficial)

Rikkie Kollé on Instagram

More Miss Universe:

Former Miss Universe Australia comes out as bisexual on I’m A Celebrity.

Miss Universe Philippines comes out as bisexual.

Miss Bhutan 2022 also 1st openly lesbian public figure.

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Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at

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