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Miss Nevada USA winner makes history as 1st transgender woman to hold the title

Congratulations, Kataluna Enriquez! She’s both the first transgender woman and the first transgender woman of color to be named Miss Nevada USA.
/ Source: TODAY

Sunday marked a big day for Kataluna Enriquez — and for the Miss Nevada USA pageant, too.

After competing against 21 other contestants at the South Point hotel-casino in Las Vegas this weekend, Enriquez took the crown and made history.

The 27-year-old is now both the first transgender woman and the first trans woman of color to be named Miss Nevada USA.

“History made!” the pageant account wrote alongside a congratulatory message for the new crown holder on Instagram.

And in a post of her own, Enriquez celebrated the win with a message of thanks.

“Huge thank you to everyone who supported me from day one,” she wrote alongside a photo from the big event. “My community, you are always in my heart. My win is our win. We just made history. Happy pride.”

And her Pride Month win won’t be the last time she makes history this year.

On Nov. 29, she’ll compete for the Miss USA 2021 crown, and she’ll be the first openly trans woman to do so in the pageant’s 69-year history.

Earlier this year, the model won the Miss Silver State USA title, a preliminary for the Miss Nevada USA pageant. At that event, she opened up about the challenges she’s faced along the way.

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“Growing up, I was often told that I was not allowed to be myself, or to be in spaces that I was not welcome,” she said in a quote published in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “One of the obstacles I encounter every day is just being true to myself. 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. And my differences is what makes me unique, and I know that my uniqueness will take me to all my destinations, and whatever I need to go through in life.”