On Sunday, Enriquez, 27, was chosen by judges to win the crown out of 21 other competitors at the Miss Nevada USA competition held in Las Vegas’s South Point Hotel Casino, making her the first transgender woman to win in the pageant’s history.
The history-making occasion, which came during Pride Month, saw Enriquez competing in a rainbow-coloured gown with a thigh slit, which she created through her clothing line KatalunaKouture.
Following the win, Enriquez, who will now go on to compete as the first transgender woman for the Miss USA title in November, spoke about the impact of the moment on her Instagram, where she also expressed her gratitude to those who have supported her along the way.
“Huge thank you to everyone who supported me from day one. My community, you are always in my heart. My win is our win. We just made history. Happy Pride,” the 27-year-old wrote alongside multiple rainbow-coloured heart emojis.
In a post shared ahead of the competition, showing Enriquez dressed in her sparkling multi-coloured gown, she also spoke about the meaning behind the dress, revealing that she created it “in honour of Pride Month, and all of those who don’t get a chance to spread their colours”.
Enriquez’s achievement, which comes after she won the Miss Silver State USA pageant in March, was also celebrated on social media, where fans applauded her for breaking barriers in the pageant world.
“I am beaming today. Representation matters. Kataluna Enriquez will be the first EVER trans woman to compete on the Miss USA stage! She won Miss Nevada USA last night in a gown she handmade herself and was picked by a full panel of male judges,” one person tweeted. “HAPPY PRIDE MONTH.”
Another said: “Incredible. While there are still many fundamental issues with pageants, this gives me hope that they’re moving in the right direction! Congratulations, Miss Nevada USA - Kataluna Enriquez!”
Of her win, Enriquez, who is also a healthcare admin and fashion designer, told the Las Vegas Review Journal that it was a “huge honour, especially during Pride Month”.
“It’s a huge honor to win, especially during Pride Month,” she said. “I wasn’t nervous. I knew that I had worked really hard and I had my one shot at making history.”
The national Miss USA pageant will take place on 29 November.