By Editor-July 10th, 2023.
Rikkie Valerie Kollé has been named Miss Netherlands 2023, becoming the first transgender woman to take the title, according to various news sources.
After winning the pageant on Saturday, Kollé will advance to represent her Dutch homeland at the Miss Universe pageant, set to take place in El Salvador later this year. The 22-year-old was crowned with a tiara by her predecessor, Ona Moody, onstage at the AFAS Theater in Leusden.
“I DID IT !!!!!” the model said in a post 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,” Kollé wrote. “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.”
Kollé, of Dutch and Indigenous Moluccan descent, is from the city of Breda, between Rotterdam and Antwerp. She said she wants to be a voice and role model for young women and queer people, according to her finalist page.
As someone who didn’t feel supported after coming out as transgender at a young age, she said, she wants to leave those stories of suffering in the past.
Kollé won’t be the first trans woman to compete for the Miss Universe crown.
Angela Ponce became the pageant’s first out trans contestant when she represented Spain in 2018. The 71-year-old competition first began allowing transgender contestants in 2012.
More trans women have been competing in the preliminary pageants in recent years.
In 2021, former Miss Nevada Kataluna Enriquez became the first trans contestant in a Miss USA pageant.
Miss Netherlands will now go on to compete in the Miss Universe competition in El Salvador in December.
Transgender contestants have been able to compete in the pageant since 2012 – when it was owned by former US President Donald Trump.
Since the win, Kollé has been targeted by hate and negativity online, with “Miss Netherlands” trending on Twitter.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Monday he would step down as leader of the country’s ruling party and leave politics, after his government collapsed over immigration policy, Dutch national broadcaster and CNN affiliate NOS reported.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Friday that his government would tender its resignation to the Dutch king, triggering new elections to be held in the autumn.
It is generally not believed that the resignation of the Prime Minister is connected with the Miss Netherlands competition.
Souces: NPR, Sky News, News Australia.