This year, the Netherlands selected its first transgender pageant winner to compete in Miss Universe.

In the 72-year history of Miss Universe, Rikkie Valerie Kolle, a 22-year-old biological male who identifies as a transgender woman, defeated nine other contestants to place third.

“I DID IT,” Kolle said, in an Instagram statement. “It’s unreal, but I get to call myself [Miss Netherland] 2023. It was an educational and beautiful journey… I’m so proud and happy I can’t even describe it. Making my community proud and showing it can be done.”

“And, yes, I’m trans and want to share my story but I’m also Rikkie and that’s what matters to me. Did this on my own and loved every moment of it.”

In recent years, biological guys have started to participate in women’s beauty pageants.

The first biological guy to win the title of Miss Nevada USA in pageant history did so in 2021. 27-year-old Kataluna Enriquez defeated 21 other competitors.

Since 2012, transgender competitors are eligible to compete in the Miss Universe Pageant system. Former President Donald Trump still controlled Miss Universe at the time, and he accepted the first transgender Miss Canada. There hasn’t been a transgender candidate crowned Miss Universe yet.

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