Transgender Model Wins Miss Netherlands

A so-called “transgender” woman has been crowned Miss Netherlands 2023, beating runner-up Nathalie Mogbelzada for the title.

Rikke Valerie Kolle, a 22-year-old man masquerading as a woman, won the Miss Netherlands 2023 beauty contest on Saturday at the AFAS Theater — beating nine actual women and becoming the first “transgender” woman to win the national beauty title.

Dethroning previous winner Ona Moody, Kolle will be representing the Netherlands at the 72nd Miss Universe competition in El Salvador in December 2023.

While Kolle was the first transgender individual to advance to the finals in the Miss Universe pageant, he was not the first to compete in the contest. In 2018, Miss Spain Angela Ponce competed in the Miss Universe pageant — though he did not advance to the finals.

Kolle, a model and actor, is of Dutch and Moluccan descent — which is an indigenous people that live on the Maluku Islands in eastern Indonesia.

He celebrated his victory in a post on Instagram.

“I DID IT !!!!!” the post read, according to NPR. “Yes I’m trans and I want to share my story but I’m also Rikkie and that’s what matters to me. And wherever you are in the world, I want to be there for you and be the example that I missed as a little me.”

Kolle has gone beyond calling himself a transgender woman — referring to himself simply as a “woman” in another recent Instagram post about how “proud” he is to be competing in the Miss Universe pageant.

“As a woman I often doubted to make certain choices because I already thought further than just looking nice,” the post read, according to a translation. “We live in one community where everyone has an opinion and is happy to share it, positive or negative. Today I say no to that! I’m sitting here as a proud woman in lingerie, and what people think of that is not what moves me forward, the best choice you can make is to embrace yourself and let them talk. Feel confident and especially feel yourself, rock that body and feel safe.”

He also spoke about Pride Month in a video published last week.

“For this Pride Month, Miss Universe asked us to describe ourselves in one word. The word I’m choosing is ‘victory,’” Kolle said. “Because that’s a little boy, I conquered all the things that came through my path. And look at me now, standing here as a strong, empowering and confident trans woman. Love is love, be who you want to be. And never forget, always celebrate your pride.”

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