Rikkie Kolle

Rikkie Valerie Kolle: Transgender woman wins Miss Netherlands for the first time


Rikkie Valerie Kolle, 22, won the crown on Saturday and will compete in Miss Universe later this year as the pageant’s second transgender contender.

Rikkie Kolle
Rikkie Kolle after being crowned Miss Netherlands 2023 with two other participants

A transgender woman has won the Miss Netherlands beauty pageant for the first time in the competition’s history.

Rikkie Valerie Kolle, a model, won the 94-year-old competition on Sunday after impressing the judges with her “iron strong story” and “clear mission.” The 22-year-old from Breda in the south of the Netherlands is the competition’s first transgender winner in its 94-year existence. She will now compete in the Miss Universe pageant in December in El Salvador.

Miss Kolle will be the second openly transgender contender in the competition, following Spanish model Angela Ponce in 2018.

Rikkie Kolle
Rikkie Kolle

In her entry profile, she said she aimed to be “a voice and role model.”

“I know better than anyone what it’s like to feel alone and not surrounded by only positive thoughts,” she added. “When I was a little Rikkie and came out as transgender, it wasn’t easy for everyone, and I also suffered from it.”

Rikkie Kolle
Rikkie Kolle after winning Miss Netherlands 2023

“Through my commitment and strength,” she concluded, “I hope to bring about change in society.” Since 2012, when the pageant was controlled by former US President Donald Trump, transgender contestants have been eligible to compete.

Thai businesswoman and reality personality Anne Jakkapong Jakrajutatip, who is transgender, now owns the competition. In 2022, she purchased the company and promised to “not only continue its legacy of providing a platform to passionate individuals from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and traditions, but also to evolve the brand for the next generation.”

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