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Miss Kentucky Eliminates First Trans Candidate, Wins Miss USA “Woke” Contest

The most awake Miss USA ever took place on Monday, crowning Miss Kentucky Elle Smith as the winner but knocking out the contest’s very first transgender contestant at the start of the competition.

Smith, 23, was in awe of her big night, saying on Instagram: “A little over a year ago, I sat in bed and watched Miss USA. I remember watching… so many amazing women take the stage and think, “I want to be on this stage. I want to be like them. … I made this dream come true.

The 70th pageant has been dubbed “Pageantry Reimagined” and the “most awake” Miss USA of all time.

Smith, a reporter for WHAS11 News in Louisville, Kentucky, graduated from the University of Kentucky and served as the School Section Vice President of the National Association of Black Journalists.

One of the reasons the contest was “the most aroused ever” is the inclusion of first trans contestant Miss Nevada, Kataluna Enriquez, 27.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 23: Miss Nevada USA 2021 Kataluna Enriquez, the first winner of the Miss USA Transgender Pageant, attends a celebration in her honor at Garden Las Vegas on July 23, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bryan Steffy / Getty Images)

Enriquez claims he made the transition at age 14 after having suicidal thoughts. Despite winning the Miss Silver State title, Enriquez told NBC affiliate KVVU that it was difficult to get there.

“I haven’t had the easiest trip in life. It was a struggle for a while. I have struggled with physical and sexual abuse. I’ve had mental health issues, ”Enriquez said, adding,“ Don’t let your differences determine what you are capable of. Your differences are all that makes you unique, and you are capable of anything as long as you believe in yourself.

Yet Enriquez was eliminated even before the last 16 were chosen in the contest held at the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Enriquez, however, was not the only first for the Miss USA pageant. Amanda Torchia, 25, was the first Afghan woman to represent the state of Connecticut.

Another competitor, Veronica Bates of Maine, is a US Air Force veteran.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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