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14th Jul 2023

First trans Miss Netherlands was shocked at the reaction she got from her competitors

Steve Hopkins

Some of the reaction on social media was also deeply unpleasant

The first trans Miss Netherlands was spoken of her heartbreak after being shunned by some of her fellow competitors after claiming the title in a historic win.

Rikkie Valerie Kollé was crowned Miss Netherlands on 9 July and while many celebrated her victory – not all of her fellow contestants shared her joy.

The 22-year-old, who will in December represent The Netherlands in the global Miss Universe competition in El Salvador, was left saddened after some of hew fellow contestants didn’t reach out to her after she was crowned.

During the pageant, Kollé struck up close friendships with her fellow competitors, but afterwards, some of those ties broke instantly.

She told Newsweek: “I thought we were a group and bonded after a few months, but after I won I did not get a message from every contestant and that made me really sad because I thought we were a group and doing this together.”

Kollé continued: “Some did not even say congratulations, and it shocked me because I did not expect that.”

However, those who did offer their congratulations, said some “beautiful” things, Kollé said.

“But I will say we did have a lovely group, and we did everything well together. We gave a great show as a group… and they also really accepted me.”

In an Instagram post, former Miss Netherlands from 2022, Ono Moody, congratulated Kollé on her win, writing: “There she is… our new Miss Universe Netherlands 2023 @rikkievaleriekolle. “Well deserved winner who owned that stage Saturday night, with a beautiful message and a very strong mindset. I’m so proud of you!”

On social media, some commenters could not accept that a transgender woman had won the title, but this was something Kollé expected.

She told Newsweek she had anticipated some transphobic “haters” to react in this way.

“Wishing me dead and telling me to suicide, those things are terrible to write, but at the same [time], it’s only lifting me up because I get a bigger platform than I could ever dream of,” she said.

“The only thing I want to say to the haters is ‘thank you,’ because you’re giving me a bigger platform than I can ever imagine.”

After winning the title, Kollé expressed her joy on Instagram, alongside an image of her accepting the crown.

“I did it!” she wrote.

“It’s unreal but I get to call myself @missnederland 2023. It was an educational and beautiful journey… 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.”

She went on to thank the judges, her fellow contestants and “my dear family” for giving her “so much extra strength” and, added: “Wherever you are in the world, I want to be there for you and be the example that I myself missed as a little me.”

The Miss Universe contest which will feature 90 women from around the world vying for the crown.

Read the Newsweek article here.

Related links:

Trans woman crowned winner of Miss Netherlands for first time

Lorraine Kelly responds after being accused of repeatedly misgendering Sam Smith

‘A lot of queer joy’- Trans pregnant man bravely stands up to cruel trolls