Miss Kentucky eliminates first trans contestant, wins ‘Woke’ Miss USA contest

The most vigilant Miss USA ever was held on Monday, crowning Miss Kentucky, Elle Smith, as the winner, but eliminating the contest’s first transgender participant ever early in the contest.

Smith, 23, was surprised by his big night, saying on Instagram: “A little over a year ago, I was sitting in bed watching Miss USA. I remember seeing … so many incredible women adorning the stage and thinking, ‘I want to be on that stage. I want to be like them. ” … I made that dream come true. “

The 70th contest was dubbed “Pageantry Reimagined” and the “most vigilant” Miss USA ever.

Smith, a journalist with WHAS11 News in Louisville, Kentucky, is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and was vice president of the school’s branch of the National Association of Black Journalists.

One of the reasons the competition was “the most awake ever” is the inclusion of the first trans participant, Miss Nevada, Kataluna Enriquez, 27.

Miss Nevada USA 2021 Kataluna Enriquez, Miss USA's first winner of transgender competitions, participates in a celebration in her honor at The Garden Las Vegas on ...

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 23: Miss Nevada USA 2021 Kataluna Enriquez, Miss USA’s first transgender competition winner, participates in a celebration in her honor at The Garden Las Vegas on July 23, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bryan Steffy / Getty Images)

Enriquez claims to have passed away as a 14-year-old after entertaining thoughts of suicide. Despite winning the title of Miss Silver State, Enriquez told NBC-affiliated KVVU it was a struggle to get there.

“I did not have the easiest journey of my life. It was a fight for a moment. I struggled with physical and sexual abuse. I was struggling with mental health, “Enriquez said said, adding: “Do not let your differences determine what you are capable of. Your differences are everything that makes you unique, and you are capable of everything as long as you believe in yourself.”

Still, Enriquez was eliminated before the final 16 were even selected during the competition held at the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

However, Enriquez was not the only one to miss the Miss USA pageant. Amanda Torchia, 25, served as the first Afghan woman ever to represent the state of Connecticut.

Another contestant, Maine’s Veronica Bates, is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

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