‘Proud trans woman of color’ crowned Miss Nevada USA, first in pageant history

·2 min read

For the first time in nearly seven decades, a trans woman will compete for the Miss USA title.

On Sunday, Kataluna Enriquez made history by beating out 21 other contestants to be crowned Miss Nevada USA. She’s now headed to the Miss USA Pageant, which will be held on Nov. 29.

“Congratulations to our new Miss Nevada USA @mskataluna,” the pageant said on its official Instagram page, next to a photo of the 27-year-old Filipino-American wearing a rainbow-inspired gown. “History made!”

Shortly before the finals at the South Point hotel-casino in Las Vegas, Ernandez revealed on Instagram that she had designed her own gown “in honor of Pride month, and all of those who don’t get a chance to spread their colors.”

Besides owning and designing for her own fashion line, Kataluna Kouture, Ernandez is also a health care administrator. In March she won the title of Miss Silver State Pageant, a preliminary competition for the state pageant.

According to her bio on the Miss Silver State Instagram page, Enriquez is “a survivor of physical and sexual abuse and a proud transwoman of color [who] aims to break barriers and represent those who aren’t always represented and continues to support numerous non-profit organizations and LGBTQ+ youth.”

“At a young age, Kataluna fought multiple challenges in her life,” the bio reads. ”Now she uses her life experiences and shares it in her platform #BEVISIBLE, a campaign to combat hate through vulnerability.”

On Monday, Enriquez took to social media to celebrate her historic accomplishment.

“Team @misssilverstate, you are all inspiring. Your love, support and sisterhood has healed many years of struggle,” she wrote. “My times and giggles with y’all [will] never be replaceable.”

“Huge thank you to everyone who supported me from day one,” she added. “My community, you are always in my heart. My win is our win. We just made history. Happy Pride,” she added.