First Transgender Woman to Participate in Miss USA Pageant
A transgender woman will participate for the first time in the Miss USA pageant this year after being crowned Miss Nevada last weekend.
Kataluna Enriquez, 27, will represent the western US state at the competition to be held on November 29, 2021, after her pioneering regional win in Las Vegas on Sunday.
“My community, you are in my heart always. My win is our win and we just made history,” written by Enriquez on Instagram.
Enriquez designs and sews her outfits, started participating in transgender beauty pageants in 2016 and became part of cisgender competitions for the first time last year.
During the Miss Nevada pageant, Enriquez, of Filipino descent spoke of the harassment and violence she has faced.
“I told the judges that being a survivor of physical and sexual abuse a transgender woman of color, I am everything that is underrepresented in this country,” she stated in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“Our voices do matter. They deserve the chance to be heard whose voices aren’t always heard.”
The Miss USA pageant is part of the Miss Universe pageant, which was formerly owned by Donald Trump.
Miss Universe changed its policies in 2012 by permitting transgender beauty queens to enter, after mentioning a rule formerly that only “naturally born” women could participate.
If she becomes a Miss Universe contestant, Enriquez would be the global competition’s second transgender participant, after Angela Ponce of Spain in 2018.