Sheena Monnin, Miss Pennsylvania USA,
has resigned in protest of transgender contestants.
Monnin stepped down from her post this
week, just days after Olivia Culpo, a 20-year-old cellist from Rhode
Island, was crowned Miss USA.
During the contest's interview round,
Culpo embraced the Miss Universe Organization's recent policy change
allowing transgender contestants.
“Would you feel it would be fair that
a transgender woman wins the Miss USA title over a natural-born
woman?” a follower on Twitter asked.
“I do think that that would be fair,
but I can understand that people would be a little apprehensive to
take that road because there is a tradition of natural-born women,
but today where there are so many surgeries and so many people out
there who have a need to change for a happier life, I do accept that
because I believe it's a free country,” Culpo answered.
her resignation letter, Monnin, 27, cited the policy change,
writing that she refused to be “part of a pageant system has so far
and so completely removed itself from its foundational principles as
to allow and support natural born males to compete in it. This goes
against every moral fiber of my being. I believe in integrity, high
moral character and fair play, none of which are part of this system
In a Facebook post, she claimed that
the Miss USA pageant was rigged, saying she found out that the
finalists were predetermined.
The Miss Universe Organization changed
its policy on transgender contestants after Jenna Talackova
challenged it. She ultimately was allowed to compete, finishing
in the top 12 and being named Miss Congeniality.