First trans Miss Netherlands was shocked at the reaction she got from her competitors
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Featured Image Credit: EVERT ELZINGA / Contributor
Content warning: this article contains references to transphobia and suicide that some readers may find upsetting.
The first trans Miss Netherlands was shocked at the reaction she got from her competitors.
Rikkie Valerie Kollé was crowned winner of the Miss Netherlands beauty pageant last Saturday (9 July) and while many celebrated her exciting victory - it seems some of her fellow competitors didn't share the same jubilation.
The 22-year-old, who will now make her way to El Salvador in December to represent The Netherlands in the global Miss Universe competition, was left surprised by the response - or lack of - she received after the incredible historic win.
Kollé expressed her delight at the win in a post 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, adding: "My dearest fellow finalists, we all put on a show, love you all girls. My dear family and friends, my N1 supporters, you have given me so much extra strength."
Using her platform to empower others and fight discrimination, Kollé concluded: "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."
During the pageant, Kollé struck up close friendships with her fellow competitors but was ultimately let down when some didn't reach out to congratulate her after last week's final.
"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 told Newsweek.
"Some did not even say congratulations, and it shocked me because I did not expect that."
While some of the women who were in the competition alongside Kollé didn't offer their congratulations, the winner still received some 'beautiful messages' from the rest of her former competitors.
She added: "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."
Former Miss Netherlands from 2022, Ono Moody, took to Instagram to toast to Kollé's momentous win.
She wrote: "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!"
Kollé's win has since been met with some backlash on social media, with many not accepting the fact a a transgender woman was crowned the title.
However, the winner told Newsweek that she was somewhat expecting the 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."
Kollé is now set to preparing to represent the Netherlands in the 72nd Miss Universe contest which will feature 90 women from around the globe vying for the crown.
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