Kataluna Enriquez has made history by becoming the first out transgender woman ever to win the Miss Silver State USA beauty pageant, the state’s largest preliminary competition.
The 27-year-old champion previously competed in a 2016 transgender pageant, but she began competing in cisgender pageants last year. She is now using her platform partly to discuss the challenges she has faced as a trans person and pageant competitor.
“With pageantry, people think it is only about beauty,” Enriquez told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “But it’s how you present yourself, what you advocate for, what you’ve done, and the goals you have.”
During the interview portion of the Miss Silver State USA beauty pageant Kataluna explained challenges she faced,
“Growing up, I was often told that I was not allowed to be myself, or to be in spaces that I was not welcome,” she replied. “One of the obstacles I encounter every day is just being true to myself. Today I am a proud transgender woman of color. Personally, I’ve learned that my differences do not make me less than, it makes me more than. And my differences are what makes me unique, and I know that my uniqueness will take me to all my destinations, and whatever I need to go through in life.”
Miss Enriquez will compete for the title of Miss Nevada in June.