LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- It’s a first for one major local beauty pageant: a transgender person is now the reigning titleholder.
Kataluna Enriquez won Miss Silver State USA, the biggest preliminary competition for the Miss Nevada USA pageant.
Enriquez has won transgender pageants before and entered other cisgender competitions, but this is a monumental win.
She will now compete for Miss Nevada USA, the state pageant leading to Miss USA and Miss Universe, pageants once owned by Donald Trump and two of the most coveted crowns in the pageant world.
“Miss Silver State was a great experience … to me it was honestly a celebration of womanhood and diversity and this celebration of being your true self,” Enriquez told FOX5.
Her road to the crown has not been that of beauty queens before her. In another pageant outside Nevada, when the organizers found out she was trans, everything changed.
“I was asked to provide documents that were invasive in my opinion physically asking me to get a letter from my doctor,” Enriquez said.
Enriquez was required to meet with a doctor who had to examine her and certify that she was female before being allowed to compete, something not required of anyone else in the competition. At the same pageant, every other contestant was assigned a roommate expect her. She did not want to name that pageant in this report for fear of jeopardizing her chances in future competitions.
“It brought me back to time where I felt like I was not welcome,” Enriquez said.
Enriquez contends discrimination is something she, like all transgender people, must face. Awareness of the transgender community is now her pageant platform.
“It gives you higher purpose,” Enriquez said.
Enriquez said she was scared at first to enter but she had no issues at the preliminary pageant in Las Vegas. She won the local title openly disclosing she is a trans person. Enriquez is now looking forward to the next big stage: the Miss Nevada USA pageant in June.
“I have a great feeling about Nevada … I am looking forward to it,” Enriquez said.
Enriquez said she understands change doesn't come easily and some beauty pageants may not be ready for transgender title holders. FOX5 looked at the rules of the pageant Enriquez said discriminated against her and nowhere do they say competitors must be born biologically female.