Kataluna Enriquez, who has crowned Miss Nevada USA on Sunday, will turn into the first openly transgender lady to compete within the Miss USA pageant.
With a platform centered on transgender consciousness and psychological well being, Enriquez, 27, beat out 21 different contestants on the South Level Resort Online casino in Las Vegas
“I didn’t have the best journey in life,” she mentioned, according to KVVU-TV. “I struggled with bodily and sexual abuse. I struggled with mental health. I didn’t have a lot rising up. I didn’t have help. But I’m still able to thrive, and I’m still capable of surviving and turn into a trailblazer for a lot of.”
After her win, Enriquez thanked the LGBTQ community on Instagram, writing, “My win is our win. We simply made history. Happy Pride.”
The Miss Nevada USA group congratulated Enriquez for her historic win on social media and shared the hashtag #bevisible.
In March, Enriquez, who beforehand competed in trans-specific pageants, turned the first transgender lady topped Miss Silver State USA, the main preliminary for Miss Nevada USA.
In the course of the pageant’s question-and-answer phase, Enriquez mentioned being true to herself was an impediment she confronted day by day.
“Today I’m a proud transgender lady of shade. Personally, I’ve realized that my variations don’t make me lower than, it makes me more than,” she said, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. “I know that my uniqueness will take me to all my locations, and no matter what I have to undergo in life.”
Enriquez, who’s Filipina American, designs her own outfits, together with a rainbow-sequin robe she wore Sunday evening in honor of Pride Month “and all of those who don’t get an opportunity to spread their colors,” she posted on Instagram.
“Pageantry is so costly, and I wished to compete and be able to grow and develop abilities and create robes for myself and different folks,” Enriquez mentioned, based on the Review-Journal.
She will signify Nevada on the 2021 Miss USA pageant, being held on Nov. 29 at the Paradise Cove Theater on the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The Miss Universe pageant system, of which Los Angeles-based Miss USA is part, started permitting transgender entrants in 2012. If she has crowned Miss USA, Enriquez will be the second trans contestant in a Miss Universe pageant, after Spain’s Angela Ponce in 2018.
Miss America, a separate group headquartered in New Jersey, didn’t immediately reply to an inquiry about whether transgender girls or nonbinary people are allowed to compete in its annual competition. As of 2018, the pageant was reportedly solely open to “natural-born girls,” according to the Advocate.
In February, a federal judge upheld the right of one other organization, Nevada-based Miss United States of America, to bar transgender contestants from its pageant.