At Least Two Transgender Women Will Participate in the “Miss Universe” Despite Backlash to Their Victories
The Miss Universe competition is inclusive towards transgender contestants and their supporters. This year, two transgender competitors, Miss Netherlands and Miss Portugal, will compete alongside 88 other women, vying for the prestigious crown.
Two transgender from the Netherlands and Portugal will be present at the contest.
Marina Machete made history by becoming the first transgender woman to win Miss Portugal last week. She will share the stage with Rikkie Valerie Kollé, who also achieved a significant milestone as the first transgender woman to win Miss Netherlands in July.
Both of them will be competing for the Miss Universe crown on November 18th in El Salvador. The event will showcase a total of 90 women from various countries around the world.
The first transgender woman participated in Miss Universe in 2018.
Miss Universe began allowing transgender women to compete in 2012. In 2018, Angela Ponce made history by becoming the first transgender woman to compete after being crowned Miss Spain.
In 2021, Kataluna Enriquez achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first transgender woman to participate in the Miss USA pageant. She earned the title of Miss Nevada, although she did not go on to compete in that year’s Miss Universe pageant.
In February, Daniela Arroyo González marked another important moment by becoming the first transgender woman to compete in Miss Universe Puerto Rico. She finished among the top 10 finalists, as reported on her Instagram.
Transgender women participating in beauty pageants still spark debates.
Their victories have sparked a considerable online backlash concerning the participation of transgender women in women’s events, igniting a deeply polarizing issue.
Following Machete’s victory, one individual criticized the pageant organizers in Portugal for allowing a transgender woman to compete: “What’s the point of having an all-female pageant where they let people of the other sex compete? Shouldn’t they change the name of the contest? Do you think they devalued the woman (sic) at this point? Really you guys should be ashamed of yourselves.”
Another person expressed their discontent with her participation in the pageant: “Sad for real women everywhere! Also sad that the only way you can win a contest is to pretend to be somebody you’re not.”
Despite the backlash, Kollé gets a lot of fans’ support, and she wants to make her community proud of her.
The year 2023 has been a promising one for representatives of the transgender community. Just earlier this year, Kim Petras made history by becoming the first transgender woman to win a Grammy.