Woman went from being bullied to becoming first transgender woman to compete at Miss USA pageant

Since her early years, Kataluna Enriquez faced ridicule, criticism, and bullying for simply being true to herself. Despite these challenges, she has since made history as the inaugural transgender participant in the Miss USA pageant.
Now 30 years old, Enriquez spent her formative years in the Philippines, where the prevailing influence of the country's Catholic religion shaped her upbringing.

As a child, she faced criticism for playing with her sister's toys and expressing a preference for her clothing. The challenges persisted when she relocated to the United States at the age of 10. In this new environment, Enriquez had to navigate a different culture, learn a new language, and grapple with self-discovery.

Encountering racism and later enduring bullying for her transgender identity after transitioning in 2011, Enriquez found herself unprepared to cope with these attacks. Speaking to Business Insider, she revealed that she self-taught herself to feel ashamed of her cultural background and to suppress her true identity.

In her household, the concept of 'mental health' was nonexistent, but she eventually sought assistance through a counseling session at high school, which she found to be profoundly beneficial.
In 2015, Enriquez participated in her initial pageant, specifically a transgender pageant, in an attempt to rebuild her self-confidence. Crafting her own dress for the occasion, despite it later "falling apart" on stage, marked the beginning of her journey towards greater proficiency. This experience eventually led her to establish Kataluna Kouture, a venture responsible for designing all the gowns she showcases in subsequent pageants.

In 2021, Enriquez achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first openly transgender woman to compete in the Miss USA pageant. Despite facing criticism from unkind detractors regarding her participation, Enriquez remained steadfast, focusing on her greater sense of purpose.
She expressed, "As an Asian American and a transgender individual, there is a scarcity of representation like me in the media. During my upbringing, I lacked a role model to admire, and I aspired to become that figure for others."
Enriquez faced elimination from the pageant before reaching the round of 16, and the title ultimately went to Kentucky reporter Elle Smith. Despite this setback, Enriquez remains undeterred and has set her sights on the Miss International Queen USA competition next year, the largest pageant for transgender individuals.

Discussing her participation, she emphasized the significance of having a dedicated space for trans people, noting that such spaces are crucial for celebrating one's authentic self. Reflecting on her experience in Miss USA, she acknowledged the need to navigate cautiously, considering the limited understanding from some individuals. However, she expressed a renewed commitment to providing a platform for trans individuals to express themselves authentically in the upcoming competition, offering others the chance to see them for who they truly are.

Please don't forget to SHARE this with your friends and family.

Click here for Comments

0 commentaires :