Model Makes History As First Transgender Miss Netherlands & Will Compete In Miss Universe
22-year-old model Rikkie Valerie Kollé made history when she was recently crowned as the first transgender Miss Netherlands
As a result of her triumph as Miss Netherlands, the young model is now qualified to compete in Miss Universe, where she will be the second openly transgender woman in history to compete on the international stage.
The Miss Universe pageant will be held in El Salvador later this year and Kollé will be competing against contestants from 23 other countries.
Kollé left a heartfelt message about her win, stating that she had made her community proud and effectively demonstrated that transgender women deserve a place in pageantry
In an Instagram post, the newly crowned Miss Netherlands wrote that the pageant was educational for her and that words could not express her joy at winning the competition.
"Yes, I'm a trans woman, and I'd like to share my story as one, but I'm also Rikkie, and that's what makes this so special. I accomplished this using my strength and loved every minute of it," she said.
The Miss Netherlands panel stated that Kollé showed the best progress throughout the competition
"This finalist has radiated throughout the show and has also made the greatest progress in the process.
"She has a strong story with a clear mission. The jury is convinced that the organisation will enjoy working with this young woman," they said, according to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.
Prior to being crowned as Miss Netherlands, Kollé competed in season 11 of Holland's Next Top Model, where she finished as runner-up after competing in eight episodes.
The Miss Universe Organisation is currently owned by a Thai celebrity media tycoon and transgender rights advocate: