Kataluna Enriquez has become the first transgender woman to win the title of Miss Nevada USA in the history of pageants. She was crowned the winner on Sunday, June 27, at the South Point hotel-casino in Las Vegas.
Kataluna won the Miss Silver State USA pageant, a preliminary competition for the Miss Nevada USA pageant, in March.
She competed alongside 21 other candidates to represent Nevada in the upcoming Miss USA pageant that will be held on November 29, 2021.
Kataluna Enriquez’s Bio, Family
Kataluna Enriquez was born on April 26, 1993, under the zodiac sign of Taurus. She was born to her father, Philip Surla, and her mother whose identity remains undisclosed.
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She grew up in the Philippines with her siblings, Peggy Renne Enriquez and Pauline D Enriquez, until the age of 10 when the family moved to the United States.
For education, Kataluna went to San Leandro High School and graduated in 2011. After that, she attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Las Vegas where she studied fashion designing.
Kataluna has quite a lot in her resumes, working as a healthcare admin and fashion designer. She also owns a clothing line called ‘KatalunaKouture.’
KatalunaKouture provides several gowns and costumes, all of which are designed by Kataluna herself.
“Yes! I started my business as Queenly did. When I started to do pageants, I could not afford anything or find anything that could fit my body type. As a trans woman, I know my body is a little different from everybody else. I could never find anything that would make me feel powerful and so I made my own. I have learned that many people share the same challenges I have.”
The 28-year-old beauty started competing in transgender pageants in 2016. During that time, she told Las Vegas Review-Journal that she “wanted to share my story and present that I was more than just a body.”
“With pageantry, people think it is only about beauty. But it’s how you present yourself, what you advocate for, what you’ve done and the goals you have.”
Kataluna started competing in cisgender pageants in 2020, advocating for transgender rights.
She Went Through A Dark Time
During her interview with NBC affiliate KVVU, Kataluna revealed that she was a survivor of sexual and physical abuse.
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“I didn’t have the easiest journey in life. It was a struggle for a moment. I struggled with physical and sexual abuse, I struggled with mental health,” she disclosed. “I didn’t have much growing up. I didn’t have support. But I am still able to thrive and I’m still able to survive and become a trailblazer for many.”
According to what Katuluna revealed to the outlet, she used to be bullied and abused by classmates and was not allowed to use either the boys’ or girls’ bathrooms.
Today, Kataluna stands proud and tall as a trans woman, advocating for transgender rights, diversity, and representation.
“Personally, I’ve learned that my differences do not make me less than, it makes me more than. And my differences is what makes me unique, and I know that my uniqueness will take me to all my destinations, and whatever I need to go through in life.”