Kataluna Enriquez has made history as Nevada’s first openly trans winner of the Miss Silver State USA beauty pageant.
27-year-old Enriquez has made history with her incredible achievement and has qualified to compete in Miss USA. If the Nevada winner takes the crown in Miss USA, Enriquez will qualify to take part in Miss Universe.
The newly championed Miss Silver State USA previously competed in a 2016 pageant transgender pageant, but this is her first entrance as a cis-gendered participant, according to LGBTQ Nation.
As a competitor, Enriquez is using her platform to be a point of representation, to discuss healthcare access for the trans community, and to speak out about the barriers she has faced due to her identity.
“With pageantry, people think it is only about beauty but it’s how you present yourself, what you advocate for, what you’ve done, and the goals you have,” she told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
As a part of the Nevada beauty pageant, Enriquez was asked to share a time in her life where she encountered a challenge.
Answering the host, the 27-year-old described the difficulties she faced as a queer person of colour growing up.
“Growing up, I was often told that I was not allowed to be myself, or to be in spaces that I was not welcome,” she said. “One of the obstacles I encounter every day is just being true to myself. Today I am a proud transgender woman of color.”
Enriquez added: “Personally, I’ve learned that my differences do not make me less than, it makes me more than.
“And my differences are what makes me unique, and I know that my uniqueness will take me to all my destinations, and whatever I need to go through in life.”
The newly crowned Miss Silver State USA will compete for the Miss Nevada pageant in June.
You can watch Kataluna Enriquez being crowned winner here or in the video below: