Marina Machete, a 28-year-old flight attendant, has etched her name in history as the first trans woman to win Miss Portugal, marking a significant milestone in the beauty pageant’s legacy.
Triumph in Borba
This historic victory unfolded on the 5th of October in the picturesque town of Borba, nestled in the southeastern Evora region of Portugal.
Marina’s win not only signifies a significant personal achievement but also marks a monumental stride toward trans acceptance in the global beauty pageant arena.
Her next destination is El Salvador, where she will compete against another trailblazing trans woman, Rikkie Valerie Kollé, who secured the title of Miss Netherlands in July. Together, they will vie for the prestigious title of Miss Universe.
Marina Machete’s Candid Instagram Post
Before the competition, Marina Machete took to Instagram to express her pride in being the first trans woman to participate in the Miss Universe Portugal pageant.
In her own words, “For many years, I wasn’t eligible to compete, and now it’s such an honor to be a part of this incredible group of candidates.”
Her sentiments were met with widespread support, underlining the magnitude of her victory.
Following her win, Marina shared her excitement about the impending Miss Universe competition in November, writing, “We’re counting down to Miss Universe 2023. El Salvador, see you soon!” Her enthusiasm resonated with her supporters.
Dealing With Death Threats
Rikkie Valerie Kollé, after her historic win in the Netherlands, revealed that she had been subjected to online hate and even received death threats.
In an interview with Newsweek, she stated that this hate only served to elevate her voice and her mission. Kollé sees it as an opportunity to spread messages of love, empowerment, and LGBTQ+ inclusivity to a broader audience.
Thanking the Haters
She stated, “The only thing I want to say to the haters is ‘thank you’ because you’re giving me a bigger platform than I can ever imagine.”
Inspired by Angela Ponce
Marina Machete and Rikkie Valerie Kollé are following in the footsteps of Spain’s Angela Ponce, who made history in 2018 as the first transgender woman to compete in the global Miss Universe pageant.
While Ponce didn’t advance to the Miss Universe finals, her presence on the stage left an imprint on the pageant’s history.
A Message of Inclusivity and Coexistence
During the global telecast of the competition, Angela Ponce conveyed her wish for a more inclusive future, hoping that her presence on that stage could contribute to a brighter future with equality for all.
She believed in the power of representation, advocating for a world where everyone can coexist harmoniously. In her own words, “If I can give that to the world, I don’t need to win Miss Universe; I only need to be here.”
A Matter of Perspective
As Marina Machete prepares to represent Portugal at the upcoming Miss Universe competition in November, her historic win serves as a source of inspiration for the LGBTQ+ community.
While opinions on this matter may vary, one thing is clear: these women are breaking barriers and paving the way for more diverse representation on the global stage.
Machete’s victory reflects the evolving landscape of beauty pageants and the increasing recognition of diversity.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Feruzbek