Miss Universe

Trans woman Rikkie Valerie Kollé crowned Miss Universe Netherlands 2023


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Trans woman Rikkie Valerie Kollé crowned Miss Universe Netherlands 2023

RIKKIE KOLLE. The Trans woman model will represent the Netherlands in the 72nd Miss Universe pageant.

Rikkie Kolle's Instagram

Kollé will be the second transgender woman to compete in the Miss Universe pageant following Spain’s Angela Ponce in 2018

MANILA, Philippines – Transgender model Rikkie Valerie Kollé made history on Sunday, July 9, as the first transgender delegate to win the Miss Universe Netherlands crown.  

Following the coronation night, the 22-year-old Kollé took to social media to share her happiness about the milestone. 

“It was an educational and wonderful process, my year can no longer be broken. I’m so proud and happy, I can’t describe it. I’ve made my community proud and shown that it can be done,” she wrote in Dutch, as translated by Business Today. 

“And yes, I’m a trans woman and I want to share my story,” she added. “I did this on my own strength and enjoyed every moment.”

She also thanked the Miss Netherlands jury and her team, her fellow contestants, and friends and family for their support. 

The Miss Netherlands jury also posted about Kollé’s win in their account, saying the candidate “radiated throughout the show” and “made the greatest progress in the process.”

“She has a strong story with a clear mission. The jury is convinced that the organization will enjoy working with this young woman,” they added. 

 According to the Miss Netherlands website, Kollé previously mentioned that she wanted to be a role model for young women and queer people.

Kollé will be representing the Netherlands in the Miss Universe pageant happening in El Salvador later this year. A final date for the 2023 competition has yet to be announced. 

Kollé is only the second trans woman to join the global Miss Universe pageant since Angela Ponce competed as a delegate of Spain in 2018. The Miss Universe organization ended its ban on transgender contestants in 2012. 

In October 2022, transgender Thai media tycoon Anne Jakrajutatip bought the Miss Universe Organization, becoming its first female and queer owner.

Miss Universe Philippines 2023 Michelle Dee, who came out as bisexual in May following her coronation, will also be competing at the global pageant in El Salvador. – with additional reports from Pie Gonzaga/Rappler.com

Pie Gonzaga is a Rappler intern. 

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