Kataluna Enriquez became the first openly transgender woman to compete for the crown of Miss USA in 2021, according to Out Magazine. Rylee was born in Southern California and is of Filipino descent.
She represented her state in the beauty pageant that took place on November 29th, 2021, but she was eliminated before the round of 16. This year’s winner was Elle Smith, a fellow model from Louisville, Kentucky.
Who is Kataluna, though? Here’s everything you need to know about her, from her job to her Instagram.
Who is Kataluna Enriquez?
Kataluna is a Filipino-American fashion designer and model who was born in the Philippines and has spent her whole life in the United States.
She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design and won the Miss Silver State 2021 title in a rainbow gown she designed herself. KatalunaKouture is her brand for custom-made dresses and costumes.
She developed a dress for Raquel Basco, the winner of Miss International Oceania, which Raquel wore while competing in Miss International in 2019.
Kataluna Enriquez On Instagram
The Miss USA candidate’s Instagram fan base increased to 81k from 32,000 followers earlier this year.
She uses her platform to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and other issues that are important to her, such as mental health and combating hatred.
In one post, she has described ThriverCon, a “virtual conference” that helps BIPOC, womxn of color, and LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs generate more revenue.
In 2012, the Miss Universe pageant system, which includes Miss USA, began accepting transgender contestants. Angela Ponce of Spain was the first transgender candidate at the worldwide pageant in 2018.
Following opposition to racist remarks about Mexican immigrants made during the commencement of his presidential campaign, Donald Trump sold the US contest to a Hollywood talent agency in 2015. Miss USA’s current campaign motto is “Pageantry Reimagined.” Enriquez, a Filipina-American, claims to create her own pageant attire.
She opened up about being trans after winning a preliminary pageant in Nevada in March. “Today I am a proud transgender woman of color. Personally, I’ve learned that my differences do not make me less than, it makes me more than,” she told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I know that my uniqueness will take me to all my destinations, and whatever I need to go through in life,” she added.