First transgender Miss Netherlands winner in the crosshairs of online hate


AMSTERDAM, July 13 — Rikkie Valerie Kolle, the first transgender woman to be crowned Miss Netherlands, once saw her success at the pageant as a symbol of her nation’s openness. She then she was bombarded with hate online.

Kolle, 22, said she became a target of hate speech after winning the 94-year-old competition last week. She now, she will participate in the Miss Universe pageant. If she wins, she’ll be the first transgender woman to claim that title.

Kolle said in an interview that he was trying to focus on the good comments, rather than the hurtful ones on social media.

“I thought we were really accepting…in the Netherlands, but hate comments show the other side of our society. I hope it’s a wake-up call,” she told Reuters.

“For now, I completely ignore it. I focus on the good things that come my way.”

The negative comments were unprovoked, she continued, adding that people insulted her for being herself.

«I just want to show the world Rikkie and of course my trans story, and being criticized for that is really sad.»

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