Kataluna Enriquez made history in Nevada when she was crowned Miss Silver State USA, the first transgender woman to do so in the history of the beauty pageant. According to KVVU-TV, the road to the crown hasn't always been easy for the 27-year-old fashion designer, with one pageant requiring her to prove she was female before allowing her to compete. Miss Silver State USA is considered the most prestigious preliminary competition for the Miss Nevada USA competition, and her most recent win earned her a place in the statewide pageant.
"It was a great experience to me," Enriquez said of the competition. "It was honestly a celebration of womanhood and diversity and just a celebration of being your true self."
Her experiences at the Miss Silver State USA pageant stood in stark contrast to at least one event she declined to name. Enriquez said things were going smoothly until event organizers realized she was a transgender woman. She noticed a decidedly cold reception from that point forward.
"I was asked to provide documents that were invasive, in my opinion, physically asking me to get a letter from my doctor," Enriquez recalled, noting that while they eventually let her compete, they refused to assign her a roommate.
"It brought me back to the time where I felt like I was not welcome," she added.
"Growing up, I was often told that I was not allowed to be myself, or to be in spaces that I was not welcome," she said in response to a question during the Miss Silver State USA pageant. "One of the obstacles I encounter every day is just being true to myself. Today I am a proud transgender woman of color."
This is not Enriquez's first win, as she also worn the crowns for Queen California, Queen USA 2016, and Super Sireyna WWUSA. With her latest victory, the new Miss Silver State USA becomes eligible to compete in the Miss Nevada USA in June. Her goal is to win that event and move on to the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageant.