A transgender woman was crowned as the Miss Universe Netherlands’ winner Saturday.
Rikkie Valerie Kolle beat out Nathalie Mogbelzada to claim the competition’s top prize, according to TMZ.
The 22-year-old from Breda became the first transgender woman to win the competition in her country.
She will be the second transgender person to compete at the Miss Universe pageant later this year in El Salvador, following in the footsteps of Spain’s Angela Ponce who did so in 2018.
“It’s unreal but I get to call myself Miss Netherlands 2023,” Ms. Kolle wrote Sunday on Instagram.
“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 I 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,” she continued.
The new owner of the Miss Universe pageant — Anne Jakrajutatip — is transgender as well.
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