<p>Kataluna Enriquez has made both LGBTQ+ and beauty pageant history.</p>

Kataluna Enriquez has made both LGBTQ+ and beauty pageant history.

Photo Credit: missnvusa/Instagram.

Kataluna Enriquez has made both LGBTQ+ and beauty pageant history: Upon winning the title of Miss Nevada USA, Kataluna has become the first transgender contestant set to compete in the nation-wide Miss USA Pageant. What’s more, Kataluna won in a dress she personally designed — and during Pride Month!

Kataluna, who is 27 and Filipina-American, took to Instagram to celebrate her momentous victory. “Huge thank you to everyone who supported me from day one. My community, you are always in my heart,” she wrote. “We just made history. Happy pride.”

Per Kataluna’s bio on the Miss Silver State pageant Instagram, she’s also a trans rights activist — and wearer of many more hats atop that, as well.

“Kataluna Enriquez is a healthcare admin, a fashion designer and owner for Katalunakouture. At a young age, Kataluna fought multiple challenges in her life,” it said. “Now she uses her life experiences and shares it in her platform #BEVISIBLE , a campaign to combat hate through vulnerability. As a survivor of physical and sexual abuse and a proud Transwoman of color, she aims to break barriers and represent those who aren’t always represented and continues to support numerous non-profit organizations and LGBTQ+ youth.”

But transphobic critics were quick to dismiss Kataluna’s well-deserved win, taking to Twitter to share transphobic memes and sentiments to mock her. The tweets, which we won’t be sharing as they deserve no more attention, spewed transphobic rhetoric. Tweets ranged from refusing to properly gender Kataluna to calling “the left” “crazy” for allowing it to happen (as if it wasn’t the Miss Nevada judges who made the decision, and not “the left”) to posting pictures of Borat in his emblematic bathing suit and “joking” that it was her.

Fortunately, Kataluna doesn’t let the hate get to her —as proven by the Instagram post embedded above. “Because of hate, people would rather die than be who they are. I was one of them. But I am no longer a victim, I am warrior,” she wrote.

Still, hundreds of Twitter users have come to her defence, tweeting in support of the trailblazing beauty queen.

Congratulations, Kataluna! We can’t wait to follow your journey.

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