Marina Machete and Rikkie Valerie Kollé both have their eyes on the infamous crown 

BY ELLA GAUCI, IMAGES VIA INSTAGRAM (@RIKKIEVALERIEKOLLE) 

While the Miss Universe competition might not be your go-to for LGBTQIA inclusivity, this year’s pageant is set to become a stage for glorious queer representation. So far two openly out trans contestants have been selected to compete for the main title. 

Miss Portugal (Marina Machete) and Miss Netherlands (Rikkie Valerie Kollé) will be walking down the Miss Universe stage in November this year to represent their countries. Both contestants were the first trans women to ever win their respective titles. 

Marina, after she was crowned Miss Portugal, wrote a passionate and heartwarming Instagram caption to announce her win. “Proud to be the first trans woman competing for the title of Miss Universe Portugal,” she wrote. “For several years I wasn’t able to participate and today I am proud to be part of this incredible group of finalists.” 

Trans women were first allowed to compete in the Miss Universe competition in 2012, and since then it has become a platform for the LGBTQIA community to be given a voice in the Miss Universe world. 

After announcing her win, Rikkie also took to Instagram to write a joyous caption for her stunning crowning moment. “I DID IT!” she wrote. “It’s unreal but I get to call myself @missnederland 2023. It was an educational and beautiful journey, my year can’t be broken anymore. I’m so proud and happy I can’t even describe it. Making my community proud and showing it can be done.”

“And yes I’m trans and I want to share my story but I’m also Rikkie and that’s what matters to me. Did this on my own and loved every moment of it.” 

The 72nd Miss Universe competition will take place in El Salvador this November. 

DIVA magazine celebrates 29 years in print in 2023. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQIA media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable. 

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