Kataluna Enriquez Makes History As 1st Trans Miss Nevada USA

Kataluna Enriquez made history becoming the first transgender Miss Nevada USA
Kataluna Enriquez made history becoming the first transgender Miss Nevada USA
Kataluna Enriquez, Miss Nevada USA 2021 (image via Instagram)

Filipino-American model Kataluna Enriquez made history this past weekend becoming the first transgender woman to snatch the crown of Miss Nevada USA 2021.

The win qualifies Enriquez to compete in the Miss USA pageant in November where she will be the first trans contestant to walk the runway at the long-running competition.

The 27-year-old took to Instagram to share a photos and fashions from the event. Wearing a dazzling rainbow-colored gown of her own design for the coronation festivities, she wrote: “In honor of pride month and all of those who don’t get a chance to spread their colors.”

Enriquez competed as Miss Silver State against 21 contestants in three categories of competition: interview, swimsuit/activewear, and evening gown. Contestants are scored on character, poise, confidence, and personality, according to the rules of the pageant.

Following her win, she expressed her thanks via Instagram to all that supported her. “Huge thank you to everyone who supported me from day one,” Enriquez wrote. “My community, you are always in my heart. My win is our win. We just made history. Happy pride.”

Originally from San Leandro, California, Kataluna Enriquez is currently based in Las Vegas, Nevada. After graduating from high school in 2011, she enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Las Vegas, where she took a deep dive into her love of fashion design.

In 2016, she launched her own fashion brand, Kataluna Kouture. That same year, she represented California in the Transnation Queen USA pageant ultimately winning the title in Los Angeles.

Speaking to Fox5 News in Las Vegas, Enriquez shared that the road to the crown has not been that of beauty queens before her. In another pageant outside Nevada, when the organizers found out she was trans, everything changed. 

“I was asked to provide documents that were invasive in my opinion physically asking me to get a letter from my doctor,” Enriquez said.

Enriquez was required to meet with a doctor who had to examine her and certify that she was female before being allowed to compete. No other contestants were required to submit to a physical examination. Also, at the same pageant, every contestant was assigned a roommate – expect her.

Should she win the crown, Enriquez would be the second trans woman to compete in the Miss Universe pageant after Spain’s Angela Ponce participated in 2018.

Biden’s Joint Address To Congress Will Have Several Firsts

President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden (image via White House/public domain)

President Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress this evening will be noteworthy on several fronts.

Biden is reportedly going to present his $1.8 trillion package to Congress since taking office asking for new spending to expand the American education system, provide more help for childcare and create millions more jobs.

First, the joint address is not a State of the Union speech, although at first glance it will appear very similar. The president will be announced, he’ll walk down the aisle of the House chamber to applause, all that.

But due to COVID restraints, the number of attendees – usually all members of Congress plus guests – will be limited to 200. Many House representatives won’t be there anyway because the annual GOP retreat is taking place this week.

Still, some GOP House members aren’t happy about being left off the invitation list.  Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) says she plans on attending anyway. “I’ve requested an invitation and I haven’t heard back,” Boebert said last week. “I’m showing up.”

While the Senate is in session, only 58 invitations were made available to senators equally divided by party.

Easily the biggest difference for those watching will be visual as for the first time two women – Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – will be seated in the two chairs behind him.

It’s the first time the top two officials in the line of presidential succession are both women.

Another first – the livestream of Biden’s address will feature American Sign Language interpretation for accessibility.

 

News Round-Up: February 3, 2021

Pete Buttigieg sworn in as Secretary of Transportation by Vice President Kamala Harris with husband Chasten at his side
Pete Buttigieg sworn in as Secretary of Transportation by Vice President Kamala Harris with husband Chasten at his side
Pete Buttigieg sworn in as Transportation Secretary by Vice President Kamala Harris (photo: office of the Vice President)

Some news items you might have missed:

Instagram: A day after his 86-13 confirmation vote in the Senate, Pete Buttigieg (above) was sworn in as Secretary of Transportation by Vice President Kamala Harris as husband Chasten Buttigieg held the bible.

Outsports: Josh Leafer was a high school athlete who threw parties and chased girls. But it was all a cover. So he started a TikTok account, @closeted_fratguy, asking, “Anyone else like totally straight but secretly gay?” Over the last year, Leafer has heard from hundreds of other secretly gay guys who were wondering the same thing. Oh – and he came out 🙂

Out Music: British indie-pop band Pale Waves has released a deeply personal video for their latest single “She’s My Religion,” which features frontwoman Heather Baron-Gracie and her life partner Kelsi Luck in a series of candid vignettes showing that even the most mundane moments can be transformative when paired with the right person.

“I wanted to give my fans a song to find themselves in,” Heather says of the intimate new video. “I wish I had a song like this when I was a young girl trying to find herself in the world.”

Attitude Magazine: The new UK queer-centric drama series, It’s A Sin, has become one of Channel 4’s most successful shows ever since its launch last month. The series has already had 6.5 million views on All 4, making it the most-binged new series ever. Episode one has also become All 4’s most popular drama launch on record.

Quinnipiac Polls: Two weeks into the presidency of Joe Biden, a majority of Americans say, 61 – 34 percent, that they are generally optimistic about the next four years with Biden as president.

Politico: President Joe Biden traveled to the Capitol to pay tribute to Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick shortly after the ceremony began Tuesday night, briefly placing his hand on the urn in the center of the Capitol Rotunda, saying a prayer and sadly shaking his head as he observed a memorial wreath nearby.

Trump On Airport Gaffe: “The Teleprompter Went Kaput”

Donald Trump during his July 4th speech

Earlier today, I reported on Donald Trump’s embarrassing gaffe during his July 4th speech where he referenced the Continental Army taking over “the airports” during the Revolutionary War.

Here’s the quote from his speech:

“The Continental Army suffered a bitter winner at Valley Forge, found glory across the waters of the Delaware and seized victory from Cornwallis of Yorktown. Our Army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do.”

This afternoon, Trump explained the mistake saying the teleprompter “went kaput” so he kept going on his own explaining he “knew the speech very well.”

“I guess the rain knocked out the teleprompter,” he added. “It was actually hard to look at anyway, ’cause it was rain all over.”

So, the Donald is basically explaining that, without a teleprompter, he can’t help but say stupid things?

He says he knew the speech very well – so, does that mean the ‘airport’ comment was in the original text of the speech?

Remember when the Donald chided President Obama and Hillary Clinton for using teleprompters?

As we’ve learned over the past few years,… there’s always a tweet:

Revolutionary War Trump-Style: “Our Army Rammed The Ramparts, Took Over The Airports”

Donald Trump has been mocked across the interwebs for flubbing a line in his Independence Day speech about closing airports during the Revolutionary War
Donald Trump

During Donald Trump’s water-logged Independence Day speech, he referenced the war of 1812 as he spoke of our army “ramming the ramparts” and “taking over the airports.”

“In June of 1775, the Continental Congress created a unified Army out of the Revolutionary Forces encamped around Boston and New York, and named after the great George Washington, commander in chief.”

“The Continental Army suffered a bitter winter of Valley Forge, found glory across the waters of the Delaware and seized victory from Cornwallis of Yorktown.”

“Our Army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do, and at Fort McHendry (Trump’s word), under the rocket’s red glare it had nothing but victory.”

“And when dawn came, their star-spangled banner waved defiant.”

Clearly, Cadet Bone Spurs is confused about the date of that first flight at Kitty Hawk.

And the battle of Fort McHenry occurred during the War of 1812, not the Revolutionary War, but, hey…

The Twitterverse was highly amused:

Virginia: Danica Roem Becomes First Out Transgender Elected State Legislator Ever

Danica Roem has become the first out transgender state legislator ever elected.

From the Human Rights Campaign:

Today, HRC and Equality Virginia, the statewide organization working for LGBTQ equality, hailed Danica Roem’s historic victory in the Virginia District 13 election. Unseating anti-LGBTQ Delegate Bob Marshall, Roem’s electoral victory will make her Virginia’s first out transgender public official and the nation’s only out transgender state representative.

“Danica Roem’s historic victory is a clear warning to anti-equality lawmakers across the country that the days of attacking LGBTQ people to scare up votes are over,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “HRC was proud to mobilize voters to support Danica Roem’s trailblazing candidacy, and we look forward to working with her to help continue moving equality forward in Virginia.”

Las Vegas: The Neon Museum

I finally made it, after almost 12 years of living in Las Vegas, to The Neon Museum.

Founded in 1996, the Neon Museum is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs for educational, historic, arts and cultural enrichment.

The Neon Museum campus includes the outdoor exhibition space known as the Neon Boneyard, a visitors’ center housed inside the former La Concha Motel lobby and the Neon Boneyard North Gallery which houses additional rescued signs and is available for weddings, special events, photo shoots and educational programs.

Very cool hour-long guided tour explains not only the design and architecture of the rescued signs, but also how the evolution of the signs tells much of the progress of Las Vegas and how tourism has changed over decades.

I was a little surprised that most of the neon signs don’t actually function, but the story-telling and landscaping lighting for the Boneyard makes up for it.

I’d definitely recommend to residents and visitors alike. Make sure you go at night when the lighting is moody and fun; and also, unlike me, go when it’s not 30 degrees out 🙂

Click on the pics here to enlarge. Bigger is better don’t you know.

CNN puts the Michael Sam “Draft kiss” into TV perspective

Excellent report by Bill Weir of CNN that puts the now famous Michael Sam “Draft kiss” into context in terms of famous, barrier breaking TV moments.

From William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols on “Star Trek” to Archie Bunker’s macho football buddy to “Modern Family” to “Conchita Wurst” of Austria winning the Eurovision Song competition in front of 120 million viewers, TV has often opened our eyes to a new perspective on social attitudes.

Take a look below. And thanks, Bill Weir and CNN.