For the first time, an openly transgender woman has competed and won a US pageant title, Miss Nevada. During Sunday's competition, Kataluna Enriquez beat out 21 other candidates to represent Nevada in the Miss USA pageant.
Previously, Enriquez won the Miss Silver State USA pageant in March, a preliminary competition for the Miss Nevada USA pageant.
Shortly after her historic win, Enriquez thanked the LGBTQ community on Instagram. ‚ÄúMy win is our win. We just made history. Happy Pride.‚Äù
Additionally, the Miss Nevada USA organization congratulated Enriquez and shared the hashtag #bevisible.
‚ÄúI didn‚Äôt have the easiest journey in life‚Äù
Enriquez explains to KVVU-TV, that she "struggled with physical and sexual abuse." She also added that she struggled with mental health.
"I didn‚Äôt have much growing up, I didn‚Äôt have support. But I‚Äôm still able to thrive, and I‚Äôm still able to survive and become a trailblazer for many.‚Äù During the pageant‚Äôs question-and-answer segment, Enriquez said being true to herself was something she struggled with daily.
‚ÄúToday I am a proud transgender woman of color. Personally, I‚Äôve learned that my differences do not make me less than, it makes me more than,‚Äù she told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. ‚ÄúI know that my uniqueness will take me to all my destinations. And whatever I need to go through in life.‚Äù
This uniqueness includes designing her own outfits. including a rainbow-sequin gown she wore Sunday night in honor of Pride Month ‚Äúand all of those who don‚Äôt get a chance to spread their colors,‚Äù she posted on Instagram.
"Pageantry is so expensive, and I wanted to compete and be able to grow and develop skills and create gowns for myself and other people," Enriquez said, according to the Review-Journal.
What's next for Miss Nevada, AKA our new favorite transgender trailblazer?
Consequently, Enriquez will represent her state at the 2021 Miss USA pageant, held on November 29 at the Paradise Cove Theater at the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma.