A transgender person is now one step closer to being crowned Miss USA.
Kataluna Enriquez, a biological male, won the Miss Silver State USA pageant this week, an event considered the biggest preliminary competition for the Miss Nevada USA pageant, KVVU-TV reported.
The outlet called it a “monumental win” for Enriquez, who will now move on to the statewide competition in the pageant circuit that leads to Miss USA and, eventually, the Miss Universe competition.
The pageants, collectively run by the Miss Universe Organization, were once owned by former President Donald Trump and are widely recognized for awarding among the most coveted crowns in the pageant world.
In an interview with the local news outlet after the victory, Enriquez called the experience “a celebration of womanhood and diversity and this celebration of being your true self.”
First transgender titleholder crowned Miss Silver State USA
But Enriquez noted that she has not always been so well liked in the pageant world. She recalled at a previous pageant, which she chose not to name in the report, when event organizers found out she was a transgender, they required her to provide medical documents to prove she was female. The organizers also allegedly refused to assign her a roommate.
“I was asked to provide documents that were invasive in my opinion physically asking me to get a letter from my doctor,” Enriquez said. “It brought me back to a time where I felt like I was not welcome.”
But according to KVVU-TV, Enriquez said instead of shying away from her transgender identity based on past experiences she has decided to make “awareness of the transgender community” her pageant platform.
That message evidently resonated in the Miss Silver State USA pageant and may prove to benefit Enriquez in upcoming competitions, especially as transgenderism gains popularity in progressive circles and pressure mounts to avoid even the slightest appearance of discrimination.
In 2018, Angela Ponce, winner of that year’s Miss Universe Spain pageant, was at one point the favorite to be crowned Miss Universe.
The Miss Nevada USA pageant is scheduled for June, according to the report.