Kataluna Enriquez, a biological male who identifies as transgender, has won the title of Miss Nevada USA. Enriquez is the first transgender American to win a top prize at the state's premiere beauty pageant.
The crowning ceremony took place in Las Vegas on Sunday, at the South Point Hotel and Casino, according to local news.
It was in March that Enriquez won Miss Silver State. Enriquez, who had previously entered other women's beauty pageants and has won pageants for transgender contestants, called the win a "celebration of womanhood."
"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 said.
Enriquez reported that in pageants outside of Nevada, she had been required to have a doctor certify that she was biologically female once pageant organizers learned she was a gender-nonconforming male who identifies as transgender. Enriquez said that unlike the other contestants, she was not provided with a roommate.
"I was asked to provide documents that were invasive in my opinion physically asking me to get a letter from my doctor, it brought me back to time where I felt like I was not welcome," said Enriquez regarding the pageants' requirements.
At the time she won Miss Silver State, the largest preliminary pageant for the Miss Nevada USA pageant, Enriquez said "I have a great feeling about Nevada … I am looking forward to it." That great feeling appears to have paid off.
Winning Miss Nevada puts Enriquez in the running for Miss USA. However, the Miss USA pageant recently won the right to refuse entry to gender-nonconforming males who identify as transgender into the women's beauty contest.
Enriquez, who is 27, competed only in beauty pageants for transgender identifying individuals until last year, when she began competing against biological women. Now she has taken the state's top prize.
Anita Noelle Green had brought the lawsuit against the Miss USA pageant, alleging that her biological male sex should not bar her from competing in the women's pageant. But Green lost that effort.
Green said "I want to participate in pageants for the same reason every woman wants to—to gain a sense of confidence and poise, and to feel beautiful and glamorous."
The producers of the pageant allegedly told Green that the women's beauty contest was only intended for "natural-born women."
It is unclear if Enriquez will be able to compete for Miss USA.
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