History has been made, all thanks to the stunning Kataluna Enriquez!
Why you may ask? Well, the 27-year-old beauty queen not only became the first transgender woman to win the title of Miss Nevada USA but she is also about to be the first trans woman to compete in the 2021 Miss USA pageant.
Kataluna took home the crown on Sunday at the South Point Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. The competitor bested 21 other contestants in the interview, swimsuit/activewear, and evening gown categories. According to the Miss Nevada rules and regulations, there is no talent portion to the event, and judging is based on character, poise, confidence, and personality. All of which Enriquez clearly embodies!
Taking to Instagram on Monday, she celebrated her victory with a touching message to her fans and the LGBTQIA+ community:
“Huge thank you to everyone who supported me from day one. My community, you are always in my heart. My win is our win. We just made history. Happy pride.”
Take a look at the entire message (below):
FYI, she apparently made that gorgeous rainbow-themed gown herself, in honor of Pride Month!! Talk about talent, right there! Anyways…
Her victory garnered Kataluna a ton of praise in the comments of her post, including from the Miss Nevada USA IG account who wrote:
“Good Morning W O R L D! The Universe rather… Congratulations to @mskataluna for her historical win!!!”
And of course from many others. RuPaul’s Drag Race star Alexis Mateo commented:
“She did it! congratulations @mskataluna Miss Nevada USA. First Trans Woman winner on her way to Miss USA.”
The love and support continued over on Twitter, with many offering their sincere congratulations to the new Miss Nevada. One social media user said:
“I really don’t get why people are so mad about miss Nevada but oh well stay mad she’s hot as s**t”
“Kataluna Enriquez’s win as the new Miss Nevada 2021 is the best way to close out pride month. Her beauty inside and out is truly spectacular!“
Ch-ch-check out some more of the reactions (below):
One of the many things I love about this photo and what it represents are the three ladies to the left who are super happy and supportive of the new Miss Nevada #KatalunaEnriquez, an openly transgender woman. Their joy is how we should all feel when equality wins. ???? pic.twitter.com/Z3aOFT5fCi
— WabiSabi ???? (@WabiSabi4Life) June 30, 2021
Lol this is me rn. Congratulations!!! Miss Kataluna is a radiant and shining Miss Nevada! And YO SHE MADE THIS GOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! https://t.co/OxA3X5H1iO
— @PiaGlenn (@PiaGlenn) June 30, 2021
Congratulations Kataluna Enriquez, proud to have you represent us as Miss Nevada for Miss U.S.A! We believe in you and can’t wait for all you will inspire with your persistence and grace.
— Dr. Patricia Pat Spearman (@Senatorspearman) June 30, 2021
Well she’s gorgeous. Congratulations to the new Miss Nevada! https://t.co/fJApIuh7iT
— Professor Beard (@BeardedChrisP) June 30, 2021
S/O Kataluna Enriquez for becoming Miss Nevada, She’s doing Amazing and She looks great! We absolutely love to see it pic.twitter.com/774CpKSAcd
— Jalen Reeves ???????????? (@GTCubsEagles10) June 30, 2021
I am beaming today. Representation matters.
Kataluna Enriquez will be the first EVER trans woman to compete on the Miss USA stage!
She won Miss Nevada USA last night in a gown she handmade herself and was picked by a full panel of male judges.
HAPPY PRIDE MONTH ❤️???????????????????? pic.twitter.com/ygyKmmYsnD
— char (@CharbabyClayton) June 28, 2021
Unfortunately, there were also a ton of transphobic and offensive comments directed at Kataluna — something many weren’t afraid to bash and call out on social media:
Really sad to see that so many people I know are actually transphobic assholes. Congrats to Miss Nevada USA ✨
— Carly Kulzer (@CarlyKulzer) June 30, 2021
You know what? You could have just not said anything. But, you choose to be terrible. There’s nothing to be personally gained from what you’ve tweeted. You should search your heart as to why you’re mean without provocation. It’s a deep unwellness, a poisoning of your being.
— ???????????????????????????? ???????????????? (@exavierpope) June 30, 2021
a beautiful woman winning miss nevada and a beautiful woman on the cover of vogue… wow isnt that somethin! https://t.co/CczRi0mnMv
— e (@joslexie) June 30, 2021
the transphobia under miss nevada news is making me nauseous why do i try to see the news
— bani ????️???? (@pizzaandcuddles) June 30, 2021
Not here for the hate!!
Following her historic win, the fashion designer opened up about her pageant journey in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Kataluna told the outlet how she started in transgender pageants in 2016 but later competed in cisgender pageants at the beginning of 2020, saying:
“I wanted to share my story and present that I was more than just a body. 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.”
But more importantly, the star wanted to break a barrier in a highly-publicized competition that tends to lack representation:
“One thing that is important for me is inclusivity, diversity, and representation. It’s something I did not have growing up and is still lacking in today’s world. Today I am a proud transgender woman of color. Personally, I’ve learned that my differences do not make me less than, it makes me more than.”
We absolutely cannot wait to see this queen at the Miss USA contest, which will take place at River Spirit Casino Resort’s Paradise Cover Theater in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in November. Go get your crown, gurl!
Reactions to Kataluna’s amazing victory over the weekend, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments (below)!
[Image via Kataluna Enriquez/Instagram]