Rikkie Kollé: Paving the way as Miss Netherlands
In a moment that’s rewriting history – Rikkie Valerie Kollé has achieved what no one has before, securing the title of Miss Netherlands 2023 as the first transgender woman.
Picture a scene filled with anticipation: a victorious Saturday that sets the stage for Kollé’s next chapter, representing her cherished Dutch homeland at the upcoming Miss Universe pageant. The AFAS Theater in Leusden was the backdrop of her triumph, as she received the tiara from her predecessor, Ona Moody, in a touching passing of the torch.
Overflowing with happiness, Kollé couldn’t help but share her elation on Instagram: “I DID IT !!!!!” Amid her journey of embracing her transgender identity, she beautifully emphasizes the core of who she is as Rikkie. With genuine warmth, she extends a hand of companionship, stating, “And wherever you are in the world, I want to be there for you and be the example that I missed as a little me.”
Breda is where she calls home, a place nestled between Rotterdam and Antwerp. Her dreams extend beyond her city, resonating especially with the queer community, as she aims to offer strength to those facing challenges.
Kollé’s victory isn’t just about her; it’s part of a broader transformation in beauty pageants. Think back to Angela Ponce’s trailblazing moment in 2018 as the first openly transgender contestant in Miss Universe. Since Miss Universe’s landmark decision in 2012 to embrace transgender participants, the stage has evolved to be more inclusive. Other incredible trans women, like Kataluna Enriquez, who made her mark in the Miss USA pageant in 2021, add to this wave of change. And on the horizon is Daniela Arroyo González, representing Miss Universe Puerto Rico, a testament to the ongoing momentum.
Guided by the vision of Thai business mogul and trans activist Anne Jakrajutatip, the Miss Universe Organization is evolving, embracing a new perspective that extends beyond the conventional.
But Kollé’s story is still unfolding. Just imagine the unwritten pages that await, especially if she secures the Miss Universe title in December. Her name would etch itself in history once more, as the first openly transgender woman to hold that honor.