LAS VEGAS, Nev. — When Kataluna Enriquez was crowned Miss Nevada USA on Sunday at the South Point Hotel Casino & Spa in Las Vegas, she made history.
"I'm the first trans woman and trans woman of color and it's time that our voices are heard," Enriquez said.
Enriquez will also be the first trans woman to compete in Miss USA in the fall, where she'll represent Nevada.
Representation of the trans community is something Enriquez feels strongly about, only recently being able to compete in cisgender pageants herself.
"When I was young, I said I hoped one day to see someone like me on stage in Miss USA and it just happened to be, I was the person I needed," Enriquez said.
Selena McAteer is also a trans woman. She said the impact of Enriquez's win goes far beyond the pageant itself.
"I was looking through her Instagram story and everything and one of the hashtags was, #youwonitforus, and I was like, wow, I wonder if she really knows," said McAteer.
McAteer said Enriquez could've saved a life last night.
"There could've been a young trans person out there last night that was down, maybe she never had seen anybody that looked like her," said McAteer. She may have watched the pageant or seen it on Instagram and thought, 'oh my gosh, she looks like me or I look like her and it's hopeful.'"
That's Miss Nevada USA's hope as well, to tell her own story, share her own experience, and make sure someone doesn't feel alone.
"That's something I felt growing up and that's the last thing that I would want anyone to feel so if I could have and give that to someone, I think it's an amazing time of my life," said Enriquez.
DAILY DEBRIEF: A DEEPER LOOK INTO THIS STORY WITH JASON DINANT AND JACKIE KOSTEK
This story was originally published by Jackie Kostek at KTNV.