via Instagram (mskataluna)

Kataluna Enriquez To Become First-Ever Transgender Contestant Competing in Miss USA

In another historic example of inclusion and representation, newly crowned Miss Nevada Kataluna Enriquez will become the first-ever transgender pageant winner to compete for the Miss USA title.

Dan Avery of NBC News reported on Enriquez’s win at the Miss Nevada pageant on Sunday, June 27, a precursor to the national Miss USA pageant. She won the Miss Nevada title with a platform centered around issues of transgender awareness and mental health. 

“My win is our win. We just made history. Happy Pride,” Enriquez announced on Instagram after her crowning.

“I didn’t have the easiest journey in life,” Enriquez later said in an interview with KVVU-TV. “I struggled with physical and sexual abuse. I struggled with mental health. I didn’t have much growing up. I didn’t have support. But I’m still able to thrive, and I’m still able to survive and become a trailblazer for many.”

“The Miss Nevada USA organization congratulated Enriquez for her historic win on social media and shared the hashtag #BeVisible,” Avery reported. 

During the challenging question-and-answer portion of the pageant, Enriquez admitted that maintaining her pride and drive is a challenge she faces and embraces daily — especially as a Filipina American.

“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,” she told the judging panel. “I know that my uniqueness will take me to all my destinations and whatever I need to go through in life.”  

“The Miss Universe pageant system, of which Los Angeles-based Miss USA is part, began allowing transgender entrants in 2012,” Avery said. “If she is crowned Miss USA, Enriquez will be the second trans contestant in a Miss Universe pageant, after Spain’s Angela Ponce in 2018.”

Miss America, which is a separate competition held by a different organization, has not yet announced whether there will be any changes allowing transgender and nonbinary individuals to compete within its pageant in the future. Historically, the contest has been limited to “natural-born women.”

A third competition, Miss United States of America, won a suit in February, allowing it to bar transgender contestants from pageant participation.

The 2021 Miss USA competition will take place on Nov. 29 at the Paradise Cove Theater at the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.


Latest News

Melanie Willingham-Jaggers

People on the Move: Melanie Willingham-Jaggers, New Executive Director of LGBTQ Advocacy Group GLSEN

The nationwide LGBTQ+ advocacy group Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) has announced the appointment of its new Executive Director, Melanie Willingham-Jaggers. They will be the first Black, nonbinary individual to lead the group in its 32-year history. Founded in 1990 by a group of educators focused on helping…

Walmart interior

Black Corrections Officer Wrongly Accused of Shoplifting in Walmart Claims Store Employees Racially Profiled Him 

Despite Walmart’s ongoing commitment to diversity as an organization, employees at one store in Georgia have been accused of racially profiling one of their customers. Monique Beals of The Hill reported that “David Conners, a Clayton County corrections officer, was stopped and handcuffed by a Fayetteville police officer while he…

Walgreens exterior

Walgreens Planning Virtual Summit To Promote Supplier Diversity

National pharmaceutical giant Walgreens (No. 39 on the DiversityInc Top 50 list) has announced an upcoming supplier diversity summit designed to help the country’s numerous diverse businesses and entrepreneurs promote their businesses and offerings.  Business news site Retail Info Systems (RIS) reported that the virtual event, scheduled for April 5th…

Shane Brown

Las Vegas Police Sued for Jailing Black Man Using an Arrest Warrant Meant for a White Man With a Similar Name

In a case combining mistaken identity, incredibly poor judgment and racial profiling, Las Vegas police are accused of “confusing” a 23-year-old Black man for a white man twice his age simply because they share a similar name. And now that wrongfully detained man is filing suit against the police department…

Boeing CEO David Calhoun Provides ESG and Supply Chain Update in Message to Employees

Originally published at Boeing Company ranked No. 17 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun shared the following message with employees addressing the company’s fourth-quarter results: As we share our fourth-quarter results, I want to thank you for your hard work and…

Cox Communications logo on screen.

Cox on 5 Things To Not Compromise in 2022

Originally published at Cox Communications ranked No. 32 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   As you jump into a new year, you may have a list of resolutions you plan to work toward. From short-term goals like reading one book per month to long-term…