Miss Nevada Makes History as First Trans Woman to Compete in Miss USA Pageant

Miss Nevada USA winner Kataluna Enriquez

Miss Nevada winner Kataluna could potentially be the first trans woman to win the title of Miss USA

In a historic moment for Las Vegas’ LGBTQ+ community, the title of Miss Nevada USA has been won by a trans woman.

Las Vegas local Kataluna Enriquez beat 21 other contestants to win the crown of Miss Nevada USA last which was held at the South Point Hotel Casino & Spa last Sunday.

She will now advance to the Miss USA pageant where she’ll be the first openly trans woman to compete for and possibly win  the title on Nov. 29. If she wins Miss USA, she will also be the second trans woman to compete in the Miss Universe pageant following Spain’s Angela Ponce in 2018.

The 27-year-old took to Instagram to celebrate the historic occasion not only for herself, but the LGBTQ community as well.

“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,” she wrote in an Instagram post.

She is also the first trans woman of color to win the competition too.

Before taking the crown, Enriquez posted a photo of herself to her Instagram wearing a glamorous rainbow-inspired gown she designed through her clothing company KatalunaKouture.

Enriquez also won the Miss Silver State USA pageant in March — also making her the first transgender titleholder of the biggest preliminary competition for the Miss Nevada USA pageant.

Besides managing her own fashion company, Kataluna Enriquez works as a healthcare admin and works with “numerous non-profit organizations and LGBTQ+ youth” to , according to her bio on Miss Silver State’s Instagram account.

“At a young age, Kataluna fought multiple challenges in her life,” the post reads. “Now she uses her life experiences and shares it in her platform #BEVISIBLE, a campaign to combat hate through vulnerability. As a survivor of physical and sexual abuse and a proud Transwoman of color, she aims to break barriers and represent those who aren’t always represented and continues to support numerous non-profit organizations and LGBTQ+ youth.”

Enriquez’s win has received widespread praise for its historical significance, with Miss Trans Global 2020 Mela Habijan celebrating Enriquez’s victory. “Our trans Pinay sister, Kataluna Enriquez, made history today! She won Miss Nevada 2021. She will be the first trans woman to compete at the Miss USA Pageant!” she tweeted. 

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