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This month, Kataluna Enriquez made history as the first ever transgender Miss USA contestant. But after being eliminated very early in the competition, Enriquez is saying that the pageant is still not ready for transgenders.
In a Wednesday interview with Yahoo Life, Enriquez, who entered the national pageant after winning her title of Miss Nevada, lamented being eliminated before the final 16 were even chosen during Monday’s Miss USA Pageant.
The article goes on to state the following:
“I’m a trans woman of color, a minority within a minority,” Enriquez, who is Filipino, said. “I’m everything that’s not represented in our country, and [ready] to create conversations around what it means to be an American.”
“It was an honor just to be able to represent my community and be an example for young queer children who now know they don’t need to be limited by society’s standards,” Enriquez added.
Enriquez won the Miss Nevada pageant in June:
#LasVegas I present to you our new Miss Nevada USA: #KatalunaEnriquez 👑 Kataluna is the first #trans queen to go to #MissUSA but she did not win because she is trans. She won because she is a remarkable, talented, & poised woman. #TransIsBeautiful @Lavernecox pic.twitter.com/IChz0JMV41
— Krista Whitley (@SocialKrista) June 28, 2021
But in the Miss USA contest in November, Enriquez, 28, was eliminated early.
“I worked so hard for it. I think they were just not ready,” the transgender contestant lamented.
Proud doesn’t even begin to describe how I’m feeling right now. Watching Kataluna Enriquez not only make history as the 1st trans woman to walk across the Miss USA stage but doing so while visiblizing the violence against #girlslikeus has moved me to tears. pic.twitter.com/bhXcXkqzki
— JOANNA CIFREDO (@JoannaCifredo) November 27, 2021
In an Instagram post on Wednesday, Enriquez wrote:
Going into the competition, I was prepared to face issues and conflicts because of our political climate and divide. I went in with pre-judgement of beliefs and attitude according to your state and I am so thankful that I was wrong. To every women who approached me with welcomeness and those who took time to understand me, thank you.
Thank you for giving me a chance to show you, and show the world another side of the story that isn’t often told correctly. To every person who ever felt invisible or denied the chance to be their best self, this is for you. I am a living breathing example of what was impossible. Do not let expectations and socio standards stop you from living your truth and chasing your dreams. ✨
To all my sponsors and team, thank you for believing in me. I’ll share my full gratitude soon.
– Miss Nevada Usa, Kataluna.
View this post on Instagram
Beauty pageant issues aside, I’m still mad about Nevada’s Miss USA Kataluna Enriquez. She was eliminated right after the interview portion. Turns out literally all they wanted to ask her about was her transition & I can only guess what sort of things they brought up.
— Frances_Larina (@Frances_Larina) December 4, 2021
Thank you for representing the LGBTQIA+ Community well! Please know that we will always be there for you no matter what path you choose in the future! You will always be remembered as iconic and historic! This is such a proud moment for us!!! ❤️🏳️🌈#MissUSA#KatalunaEnriquez pic.twitter.com/ECcTRyXfmc
— IdaAoki Apologist (@idaaoki3_) November 30, 2021
When the #MissUSA pageant gets underway tonight, Las Vegan Kataluna Enriquez will become the first openly transgender woman to compete for the coveted title after she was crowned Miss Nevada in June.
READ MORE: https://t.co/SrJy9IbaGO pic.twitter.com/xxTYvIArr0
— FOX5 Las Vegas (@FOX5Vegas) November 29, 2021
— Vegas (@Vegas) November 30, 2021
Miss USA’s first transgender contestant, Miss Nevada Kataluna Enriquez, has addressed her early elimination from the pageant. https://t.co/2oLmOCzIO0
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) December 2, 2021
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