Kataluna Enriquez, the first openly transgender Miss USA contestant, was eliminated before the round of 16 on Monday, prompting outrage on social media.Elle Smith, a reporter for Louisville, Kentucky-based television station WHAS, was eventually crowned Miss Universe. “This is quite the accomplishment!!” tweeted the station.
“Our Elle Smith has been crowned MISS USA!”Enriquez, 27, was honoured as a champion in her home state of Nevada earlier Monday.”Kataluna represents the best of her community and our state, and she’ll make history when she takes the stage!” Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak issued a tweet late Monday night.
Enriquez, 27, was honoured as a champion in her home state of Nevada earlier Monday.”Kataluna represents the best of her community and our state, and she’ll make history when she takes the stage!” Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak issued a tweet late Monday night.
“Kataluna is making history as the first openly transgender woman to compete in Miss USA, and I couldn’t think of anyone better to represent the Silver State,” said U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nevada, in a tweet.
Enriquez defeated 21 other contestants at the South Point Hotel Casino in Las Vegas in June to win the Miss Nevada title in her adopted hometown. This led her to the event on Monday at River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The winner of the evening will compete in the Miss Universe pageant next month in Eilat, Israel. In 2012, the Miss Universe pageant system, including Miss USA, began accepting transgender entrants. Angela Ponce of Spain was the first transgender contestant at the global pageant in 2018.
Former President Donald Trump owned the American contest but sold it to a Hollywood talent agency in 2015 after a backlash over xenophobic remarks he made about Mexican immigrants during the launch of his presidential campaign. Miss USA’s current slogan is “Pageantry Reimagined.”
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