UPDATE June 28, 2021:
The title of Miss Nevada USA has gone to a transgender woman for the first time in the pageant’s history.
Kataluna Enriquez was crowned the winner Sunday in the pageant at the South Point hotel-casino in Las Vegas and will continue to compete for the title of Miss USA.
Enriquez competed against 21 other candidates to represent Nevada in the Miss USA pageant that will be held on Nov. 29.
Kataluna Enriquez, a transgender woman, won the Miss Silver State USA, and the win qualifies her to participate in the Miss Nevada USA pageant.
“Miss Silver State was a great experience. … To me, it was honestly a celebration of womanhood and diversity and this celebration of being your true self,” Enriquez told FOX5 Las Vegas.
Enriquez said she was scared at first to enter but she had no issues at the preliminary pageant in Las Vegas. She won the local title openly disclosing she is a trans person. Enriquez is now looking forward to the next big stage: the Miss Nevada USA pageant in June.
“I have a great feeling about Nevada … I am looking forward to it,” Enriquez said.
Should Enriquez be able to win in Nevada she will be competing in Miss USA. Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants were once owned by Donald Trump.
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Recognizing the participation of transgender women in local or state competitions has become a controversial issue lately. A federal judge in Portland ruled on Thursday that the Miss United States of America pageant isn’t breaking any laws by excluding transgender women from its beauty pageants.
U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman ruled today that the pageant had shown it was an “expressive” organization that seeks to promote a specific message, rather than one devoted to making money. That distinction means Miss United States of America can exclude people if their participation wouldn’t be congruent with that message, Mosman ruled.
And that means Miss United States of America can insist on its own definition of “natural born female,” Mosman added.
“Defendants assert both by action and by policy a particular definition of ‘natural born female.’ The most plaintiffs can raise, according to what they have submitted to me, is that plaintiff meets her own or a different definition of natural born female. But there is no evidence that she can meet defendant’s definition.”