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Transgender people take part in the Miss Universe pageant: what Marina Machete from Portugal and Rikki Kolle from the Netherlands look like

Anna KravchukNews
Transgender people take part in the Miss Universe 2023 contest

This year, one of the largest and most prestigious beauty pageants, Miss Universe, is taking place in El Salvador, and for the first time in its history, two transgender women will participate in it. The representatives of Portugal and the Netherlands are Marina Machete and Ricky Kolle, who were biologically born male.

The Portuguese contestant is 28 years old. For the last 5 years of her life, she worked as a flight attendant when she suddenly decided to try her hand at modeling, so she entered Miss Universe Portugal, where she won the coveted crown. Her competitor from the Netherlands is 22. She dreams of becoming an inspiring example for all people who suffer from gender discrimination. OBOZ.UA decided to show how the two transgender beauties look like.

Marina Machete from Portugal

As we have already mentioned, Marina is a 28-year-old flight attendant. She became the first transgender woman in her country to win the Miss Portugal title.

Transgender people take part in the Miss Universe pageant: what Marina Machete from Portugal and Rikki Kolle from the Netherlands look like

"As a transgender woman, I have gone through many obstacles on my way, but fortunately, and especially in my family, love has been stronger than ignorance," Machete said.

Transgender people take part in the Miss Universe pageant: what Marina Machete from Portugal and Rikki Kolle from the Netherlands look like

She regularly shares photos and videos from El Salvador on her social media, where she was completely inactive until recently. All 90 beauties who will compete for the main crown in the final on November 18 have already gathered there.

Transgender people take part in the Miss Universe pageant: what Marina Machete from Portugal and Rikki Kolle from the Netherlands look like

"For many years I was not eligible to participate in the competition, and now it is such an honor to be part of this incredible group of candidates," shares her impressions the representative of Portugal.

Transgender people take part in the Miss Universe pageant: what Marina Machete from Portugal and Rikki Kolle from the Netherlands look like
Transgender people take part in the Miss Universe pageant: what Marina Machete from Portugal and Rikki Kolle from the Netherlands look like

Rikki Kolle from the Netherlands

The representative of the Netherlands is only 22 years old, but she already knows what mission she will fulfill throughout her life - to fight gender discrimination, inspire and support all those who suffer from it.

Transgender people take part in the Miss Universe pageant: what Marina Machete from Portugal and Rikki Kolle from the Netherlands look like

"I have overcome so much mental and physical pain. I am grateful to have heard my name called when the final casting was announced. I was very nervous, but at the same time I was very motivated, I really wanted to take advantage of this opportunity," said Kolle after becoming the winner in her country.

Transgender people take part in the Miss Universe pageant: what Marina Machete from Portugal and Rikki Kolle from the Netherlands look like

After the victory, Rikki faced the so-called anti-trans reaction, but the actions of the haters, as the model herself later noted, only played into her hands, providing her with a better opportunity to inform society about the rights of trans people and the long queues for gender-affirming care in the Netherlands.

Transgender people take part in the Miss Universe pageant: what Marina Machete from Portugal and Rikki Kolle from the Netherlands look like

"The only thing I want to say to the haters is thank you, because you are giving me a bigger platform than I could have imagined... I want to speak out in defense of trans people who need it. I had no one to look up to as a child, and I want to be a role model and inspiration for others," Kolle said.

Transgender people take part in the Miss Universe pageant: what Marina Machete from Portugal and Rikki Kolle from the Netherlands look like

The model, who hails from Breda in the southern Netherlands, began her transgender journey when she was 16 and gained her first wave of fame through her participation in the 11th season of Holland's Next Top Model.

Transgender people take part in the Miss Universe pageant: what Marina Machete from Portugal and Rikki Kolle from the Netherlands look like
Transgender people take part in the Miss Universe pageant: what Marina Machete from Portugal and Rikki Kolle from the Netherlands look like

It should be noted that transgender people have been able to participate in Miss Universe since 2012 after the rules were revised. "Transgender women are women, period," the organizers argued at the time. It is also worth noting that Anne Jakrayutatip, who acquired the Miss Universe organization in 2022, is also a transgender woman.

Angela Ponce, a representative of Spain, became the first such contestant at Miss Universe. She participated in the contest in 2018 and reached the final.

As OBOZ.UA previously reported, Ukraine's representative at Miss Universe Angelina Usanova has already presented her luxurious national costume, which she will wear on November 16. The symbolic image called "Guardian Mother" was created for 1.5 months, and some of its elements were printed on a 3D printer. Read more about the production and symbolism of the costume in the article.

The event was not without scandals. At the welcome party in El Salvador, Angelina sat at the same table as a Russian woman. Apparently, the pageant organizers are once again trying to create the illusion of "friendship" between participants from countries at war. Interestingly, the Ukrainian woman did not refuse this seat and did not ask to be moved. This caused concern among Ukrainian fans.

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