A trans-identified male has been crowned Miss Netherlands for the first time in the pageant’s history, and will soon compete for the title of Miss Universe.
Rikkie Valerie Kolle, 22, won the competition on Sunday, according to the Daily Mail.
Kolle was apparently overcome with emotion when he was crowned Miss Netherlands, receiving the crown from former Miss Netherlands winner Ona Moody and current Miss Universe R’Bonney Gabriel from the US.
Kolle took to Instagram after winning, saying “I DID IT!!!!!” in posting about the “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.”
In response to Kolle’s victory, a Twitter user posted: “Transgender woman (left) Rikkie Valerie Kolle (22) made history by being the first male-born to win Miss Netherlands. She will now compete in the global Miss Universe competition. The loser on the right is Natalie Yasmine, a lady.”
The Miss Universe 2023 competition is set to be held in El Salvador in December, though the exact date has not yet been decided. A total of 24 countries will be represented at the Miss Universe competition.
Kolle will be the second trans-identified male to compete in Miss Universe. In 2018, Angela Ponce of Spain became the first trans-identified male to compete in Miss Universe. Ponce was overwhelmed by the win, saying Ponce “never could have imagined” being able to compete so far into the competition.
Males who identify as trans and present as women have been able to compete since 2012. Anne Jakrajutatip, a Thai businessperson and advocate who bought the Miss Universe organization in 2022, is also trans.
The pageant was previously owned by former President Donald Trump.
Jakrajutatip claimed that the pageant would continue the pageant's legacy of women empowerment and “evolve the brand for the next generation” even though a biological male was Miss Netherlands.