For the first time in history, Rikkie Valerie Kolle, a transgender woman, has won the Miss Netherlands crown. What a historic moment!
A Beacon of Change and Hope
Looking radiant in a red gown, Kolle, her hair neatly pinned up in a bun, stood hand in hand with the runner-up. When her name was called out, she covered her face in disbelief before accepting the Miss Netherlands sash from the current Miss Universe, Texan R’Bonney Gabriel. Later on Instagram, she wrote about this “educational and beautiful journey,” saying, “I’m so proud and happy I can’t even describe it. Making my community proud and showing it can be done”.
Kolle’s win is indeed an extraordinary leap for transgender representation in beauty pageants. She now has the opportunity to vie for the Miss Universe crown, which, interestingly, is now owned by Anne Jakrajutatipa, a transgender Thai woman.
The Story of Strength and Determination
With her stunning victory, Kolle not only earned a crown but also a platform to amplify her message. “I want to be a voice and role model for all young women and queer people,” she stated, adding, “I know better than anyone else what it’s like to feel alone and not be surrounded by only positive thoughts.” Kolle’s story is indeed an iron-strong one. When she was younger and came out as transgender, she faced hardships, but today, she stands stronger than ever.
Kolle has her eyes set on influencing change, hoping that future generations will have a better experience. She intends to use her own story and experience to emphasize that “It’s never too late and help is always there”.
Not Without Controversy
Despite her monumental victory and clear intentions to promote inclusivity, Kolle has faced criticism and backlash. Critics have argued that her participation and win are an injustice to cisgender women. This has sparked debates on transgender rights and inclusion in public spaces. In the face of negativity, Kolle remains resilient. She said, “Yes I’m trans, and I want to share my story, but I’m also Rikkie, and that’s what matters to me. I did this on my own and loved every moment of it”.
As Kolle moves forward to compete in the Miss Universe pageant, she carries with her the hopes of many. Rikkie Valerie Kolle is the second openly transgender contestant in Miss Universe after Spanish model Angela Ponce in 2018, she is another step forward in the ongoing quest for transgender visibility and acceptance.
Kolle proved that strength, resilience, and the ability to bring about change determine beauty, not stereotypes. With her heart set on advocating for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, she truly embodies the spirit of a beauty queen. She is one who is not just a vision of elegance but also a beacon of inspiration and change.
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