Miss Netherlands Scores a First

Rikkie Valerie Kolle is the first trans woman with the crown and will compete for Miss Universe
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2023 11:10 AM CDT
Miss Netherlands Scores a First
The new Miss Netherlands, Rikkie Valerie Kolle.   (YouTube)

Here she is—Miss Netherlands. And for the first time, Miss Netherlands is a transgender woman. With her new crown, Rikkie Valerie Kolle will be the second trans woman to compete for the title of Miss Universe later this year, NPR reports. Kolle is looking to support young women and the queer community with her platform, with the 22-year-old emphasizing that she didn't feel supported as she transitioned as a youth. "I DID IT !!!!!" she posted on Instagram. "Yes, I'm trans, and I want to share my story, but I'm also Rikkie, and that's what matters to me. And 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 follows up with a statement to USA Today: "I struggled and it was a very rough time. Today, I am stronger than ever before. It's never too late and help is always there. That has always been my guiding principle, and I want [to] help and spread it with my own story and experience." Kolle follows in the footsteps of former Miss Spain Angela Ponce, who competed in 2018; the pageant has allowed transgender women since 2012. Anne Jakrajutatip, a trans woman, bought the Miss Universe Pageant in 2022. (Meanwhile, there's a Delaware state senator looking to become the first trans rep in the US House of Representatives.)

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