A transgender woman, Rikkie Valerie Kollé, was just crowned Miss Netherlands for the first time

Rikkie Kollé is crowned Miss Netherlands on Saturday, July 8, 2023.
Rikkie Kollé (center) will compete at the upcoming Miss Universe competition.Miss Universe Organization
  • Rikkie Valerie Kollé won the Miss Netherlands title on Saturday. 

  • Kollé is the first transgender woman to win Miss Netherlands. 

  • She is the second transgender woman to compete in the Miss Universe pageant. 

Rikkie Kollé has been crowned Miss Netherlands, marking the first time a transgender woman has won the title.

Kollé won this year's Miss Universe Netherlands competition against nine other finalists on Saturday. The organization announced Kolle's victory on their social media pages, where they shared a photo of Kollé after she was crowned by current Miss Universe R'Bonney Gabriel.

The image's caption said the 22-year-old shined throughout the competition and had made great progress.

Gabriel also congratulated Kollé on Instagram Stories, writing, "Welcome to the class of 2023."

Rikkie Kollé hugs R'Bonney Gabriel at the Miss Netherlands competition.
Rikkie Kollé (left) hugs R'Bonney Gabriel (right) at the Miss Netherlands competition.Miss Universe Organization

According to NOS, a broadcasting organization based in the Netherlands, Kollé is the second transgender person to compete in the Miss Universe competition after Angela Ponce. Ponce represented her home country of Spain in the international pageant in 2018.

The outlet reported that Kollé previously appeared on Holland's Next Top Model in 2018, when she reached the final four.

The Miss Universe Organization has made strides to be more inclusive in recent years, including last August when it was revealed mothers and married women could now compete. Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip purchased the organization in October 2022. Jakrajutatip is the first woman to own Miss Universe during its 70-year history and the third richest transgender person in the world.

The 72nd Miss Universe will be held in El Salvador.

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