On Sunday, Kataluna Enriquez, 27, was crowned the 2021 Miss Nevada at the South Point Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. By becoming the beauty of the Battle Born State, Enriquez qualifies to participate in the Miss USA pageant where she will become the first transgender contestant in competition history.
With a platform focused on transgender awareness and mental health, Enriquez beat out 21 other contestants and became Miss Nevada. After her win, she thanked the LGBTQ community on Instagram, writing, "My win is our win. We just made history. Happy Pride."
Enriquez designs her own outfits, including the rainbow sequin gown she wore Sunday night in honor of pride month.
Miss Universe, which holds the Miss USA pageant, ended a worldwide ban on transgender women in the competition system in 2012 following a campaign from GLAAD and other trans advocates. Angela Ponce famously became the first transgender woman to compete on the world stage when she was named Miss Spain and competed in Miss Universe 2018.
"Kataluna Enriquez being crowned Miss Nevada is a huge win for trans visibility and sends a powerful, but simple message to the world: trans women are women," said Anthony Allen Ramos, GLAAD's Head of Talent. "Enriquez's presence on the Miss USA stage later this year will not only help to accelerate acceptance of the trans community, but also inspire so many other trans women who feel like they have not seen themselves represented in that space before."
Enriquez will represent Nevada at the 2021 Miss USA pageant at the Paradise Cove Theater at the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma on November 29.