Rikkie Valerie Kollé Is the First Trans Woman to Win Miss Netherlands

“We’re really looking for the most beautiful woman in the Netherlands,” said Monica van Ee, a member of the jury who chose Ms. Kollé this weekend. She is also the national director of Miss Netherlands.

She said that while national and international media had been interested to talk about Ms. Kollé’s victory, a lot of people had sent upsetting and threatening messages attacking Ms. Kollé.

Anne Jakrajutatip, the owner of the parent company of Miss Universe who is a trans woman herself, celebrated Ms. Kollé’s win in a statement.

“My Miss Universe superfan conversion was sitting in the front row while Angela Ponce, the first trans Miss Universe Spain, walked the runway for the first time,” Ms. Jakrajutatip said, adding that she was happy to make a statement that “trans women are women — and we are here to celebrate women.”

Ms. Kollé, who is from the southern Dutch city of Breda, has modeled since she was a teenager. She said she chose to apply to become Miss Netherlands because pageants offered her a chance to tell her story.

As a model, she said, “you’re a bit of a clothes hanger. Otherwise you mostly have to be quiet.” But in the world of pageantry, she said, “it’s also important that you have something to say.”

Ms. van Ee, Miss Netherlands’s national director, said that over the last decade or so, the pageant had modernized. Now, mothers, divorced women and trans women can participate, she said. “I took over Miss Netherlands because I wanted to make women stronger,” Ms. van Ee said. “I want to inspire young girls.”


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