SAN GABRIEL, CA — Kataluna Enriquez is a Queen. After conquering multiple trans-pageants, the 26-year-old has her eyes on a bigger prize: Miss Universe.
The reigning Miss Hayward competed in the Miss California USA pageant last month in San Gabriel, California.
“It’s amazing. I was really really scared at first because I just felt kind of an outcast but as soon as I broke out of my shell and shared my experience and shared my authentic self being a transwoman, how I made it feel everyone has just been supportive.”
While trans women have been allowed to compete in Miss Universe sanctioned pageants since 2013, not many have openly stepped forward.
Miss Spain 2018 Angela Ponce is the only openly trans-woman to compete at Miss Universe.
Despite not placing at the Miss California pageant, Enriquez made sure to raise awareness to her goal — better representation.
“Representation really matters for me. Representation can save a lot of lives, and if we want change for our community, we ourselves need to change. Be courageous if we have to, break the mold.”
While Miss California is over for now, She’s pursuing her modeling career in style as her own designer.
“I started Kataluna Couture because as a transwoman, my body is a little bit different compared to other women, but I also notice a lot of girls don’t have the resources to have gowns or clothing.”
As Kataluna finishes up her reign as Miss Hayward, she looks to conquer more stages including the recently opened branch of Asia SF in Palm Springs.