June 6th, 2012
09:36 AM ET

Did Miss Pennsylvania quit because pageant rigged, or she opposed transgender entries?

Miss Pennsylvania says she has given up her state crown because the Miss USA pageant was fixed, but organizers say an e-mail she sent this week shows she quit because of her disapproval over allowing transgender participants.

"I will relay to you the reasoning behind my resignation. I witnessed another contestant who said she saw the list of the Top 5 BEFORE THE SHOW EVER STARTED proceed to call out in order who the Top 5 were before they were announced on stage," Sheena Monnin wrote on her Facbeook page Tuesday.

"Apparently the morning of June 3rd she saw a folder lying open to a page that said 'FINAL SHOW Telecast, June 3, 2012' and she saw the places for Top 5 already filled in."

Monnin said she waited to see how things would play out.

"After it was indeed the Top 5 I knew the show must be rigged; I decided at that moment to distance myself from an organization who did not allow fair play and whose morals did not match my own," she wrote on Facebook.

But the Miss Universe Organization said that while Monnin did resign following Sunday night's pageant, her description of the events and why she quit is false.

"The Miss Universe Organization can confirm the resignation of the Pennsylvania titleholder after she did not place in the Top 16 at the Miss USA pageant. In an e-mail to state pageant organizers (below), she cited the Miss Universe Organization’s policy regarding transgendered contestants, implemented two months ago, as the reason for her resignation," the organization said in a statement. "Today she has changed her story by publicly making false accusations claiming that the pageant was fixed; however, the contestant she privately sourced as her reference has vehemently refuted her most recent claim.

"We are disappointed that she would attempt to steal the spotlight from Olivia Culpo of Rhode Island on her well-deserved Miss USA win."

According to the e-mail released by the Miss Universe organization, Monnin sent her resignation after 4 p.m. ET Monday before writing on her Facbeook page, saying the organization had strayed by allowing transgender participants in the pageant.

"I am officially and irrevocably resigning the title of Miss Pennsylvania USA 2012," the e-mail released by Miss Universe said. "I refuse to be part of a pageant system that 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 ever moral fiber of my being.  I believe in integrity, high moral character, and fair play, none of which are part of this system any longer.

"I hereby return the title of Miss Pennsylvania USA 2012."

Monnin hasn't commented on the release of the e-mail.

The topic of whether transgender participants should be allowed in pageants entered the spotlight after a controversy in the Canadian version of the pageant. Jenna Talackova, 23, forced Donald Trump and his Miss Universe Canada pageant to end its ban on transgender contestants. Talackova fell short of the national title at the pageant.

And in Sunday's Miss USA pageant, the topic surfaced in the question-and-answer part of the show when Rob Kardashian read aloud a question sent in by a viewer via Twitter for Culpo, Miss Rhode Island and the eventual pageant winner.

"Would you feel it would be fair that a transgender woman wins the Miss USA title over a natural-born woman?" the question asked.

Culpo quickly embraced the Miss Universe decision to allow transgender women but also acknowledged why some people may not feel comfortable with it.

"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 said.

soundoff (312 Responses)
  1. hannamomma

    This pageant used to be about natural beauty. When I was in the Miss Texas USA pageant, we had to certify that we had not ever been married, had children or cosmetic surgery. By allowing transgender into this pageant, it has lost its class. My family will no longer tune in. OMG you had a Kardashian as a judge, truly scraping the bottom of the barrel.

    June 6, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Duane

      But the pageants have had to grow or honestly face extinction. The money and support for these no longer exist through past normal channels so either the pageants change or die.....which is the preference?

      June 6, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Loki

      Mutilated psycho freaks can now win Miss Universe. Anyone who says they shouldn't be able to compete will never win. This is the Obama years.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • ME

      Does it really matter that much? After all most of the contestant's boobs come from another state than the one they represent.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Crai2890

      Hannamomma must have lost Miss Texas Pagent for two counts: failing to display inner and outter beauty. Emphasis on the former. The world is changing and people are accepting that human hapiness and universal values trumps all, including hatred and bigotry. Quit impeding on others values and live your own life. Let other live theirs without having to read such uneducated comments as yours.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • hannamomma

      Uneducated? Happiness is spelled with two p's. Just saying. "It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid, than to open it and remove all doubt." I am not a racist or a bigot. I have many friends from all walks of life and I do not think I am better than they. You are right, everything evolves, not all for the better. But is it not my place to judge you are anyone else. Live well.

      October 31, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • CBinKY

      Actually these pageants were initially part of a eugenics movement to show off "best breeding stock". Hence the no marriage, no children, no cosmetic surgery. They needed to be available for marriage and reproduction. Why else would the marriage, children, and surgery matters come into play? Marriage and childbirthing have NOTHING to do with beauty – only availability.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Missy

      I agree with not supporting this pageant system. I like Mr. Trump, but let's keep some guidelines in place.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    Oh, whoopee.
    Who cares?

    Fix the ecomomy.
    This is ridiculous.

    June 6, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • deathwombat

      I love the mindset that goes, "as long as any other issue is more important than this one, this one is unworthy of being reported or debated".

      June 6, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Go ahead and debate it, I don't care.
      I don't think it's worthy of debate, but you go right ahead and pontificate til you run out of breath.
      My priorities are in order.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  3. notanymore

    "I refuse to be part of a pageant system that 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 ever moral fiber of my being. I believe in integrity, high moral character, and fair play, none of which are part of this system any longer."

    Good for her.

    June 6, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Rodger

      I agree wholeheartedly. It is a sad day for America. We need a revival of morals.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Molly

      I agree, I say good for her for standing up for her beliefs.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  4. Allen

    Sounds Like a Quitter to me!!

    June 6, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  5. adamthefirst

    I support her and think that show is fixed. That show should end!

    June 6, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  6. cbkidder

    Ms. Monnin proves you can be beautiful on the outside and hideous on the inside.

    June 6, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  7. TiredODaCrap

    I had always thought things similar to Hanna's post above. Are all of the contestants now allowed to have plasitc surgery? If not, then allowing transgender would be an unfair advantage. However, if they do allow all of the ladies to have work done, I guess there should be no issue. It would just happen to be a LOT of plastic (and other) surgery.
    Would give her credit for standing by her morals, unless she did give a different reason on her FB page than she gave to the pagent. Too bad the pathetic PD machine in this country is so bad right now that she felt she couldn't give her actual reason on FB.
    Either way, I'd agree with her, I think allowing natural born men who are made into women into the pagent really takes away the whole idea of the pagent.

    June 6, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  8. JT

    i cant belive we are here, STOP already! im tired of this gay matter being FORCED on us. miss gay america, people WAKE up. girls in the boy scouts and boys in the girl scouts ENOUGH.

    June 6, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Caddylover2003

      I agree!!!!!

      June 6, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Candi

      I agree totally! JT please run for president!

      June 6, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Throw the first stone

      Wow! Ignorant to the end.

      Probably can't even fall on your holier than thou sword the right way.
      The rest of us would need to pay more in taxes to cover your medical expenses.

      FYI: There is gay and then there is transgendered. 2 separate, but not exclussive types of people.
      Example: A male to female transgendered may or may not like men.

      June 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Charlie

    Beauty Pageants are superfluous, antiquated rituals that never had any signigicance except to destroy the self-respect of women who could not measue up to their artificials standards. They don't belong in the 21st century. Donald Trump owns one, and he is nothing more than a circus ringmaster with a lot of money.

    June 6, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©


      June 6, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Jami

      I cold not agree with you more Charlie. I think giving these gals scholarships is a nice thought, but I doubt that is really why any of them get into pageants. If you truly need someone to validate your beauty, then I think you might be just a bit narcissistic. This also teaches young gals all that matters is looks. I don't think that is a message we need to be sending to our youth.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. NorCalMojo

    Maybe she realized that only gays and ex-beauty queens still watch beauty pageants in 2012.

    If she can get a Maxim cover out of the controversy, it was a damn good decision.

    June 6, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©


      June 6, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  11. m0rtis

    If she lied about why she resigned, that doesn't speak much in favor of her stated "integrity and high moral character". ie; Rats would need to look down to find that level (don't take this as stating that rats have low moral character).

    June 6, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  12. NorCalMojo

    seek help

    June 6, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  13. Portland tony

    Of all the really important challenges the citizens of our nation face, this insignificant incident doesn't even deserve coverage. Other than the participants, who really gives a damn?

    June 6, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jeff

    I am a male, not even transgendered. I want to be Miss USA. I think it is discrimination I am not allowed to enter the pageant.

    June 6, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • GT66

      So enter. If you can effectively compete in the categories then do it. Seriously, these pageants were reality TV before reality TV. They are a farce and pure entertainment with no more societal value than p*ssing for distance. So join and compete. Honestly, what difference would it possibly make in the state of the world today?

      June 6, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • suciobeats

      That's like LeBron James stating that he wants to play for the WNBA...then average 100 points a game.

      If a contest/sport is designed for women, then women who were born women should be allowed to participate, only.

      June 8, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
    • David

      There are many pageant options for you. Please enter Mr. National Entertainer of the Year 2012-2013 being held July 25-July 29th at The Connection Theater in Louisville, Kentucky and the Horse Shoe Casino in Indiana.

      Categories for men are:

      Presentation (3 minute time limit)
      Creative Evening Wear
      On-Stage Question
      Talent (7 minute time limit)

      Signed – Mr. National Don't H8 2012 and Mr. Kentucky EOY 2011

      June 8, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Su Lynn

    Good for her! It's about time someone turned their back on Donald Trump. Let's face it – Trump is only allowing transgender participants for the publicity – and some people will do anything to get attention. There is no such thing as "transgender" – you are whatever God make you, and I personally don't believe society should reward you for destroying what God make! However, I am aware America has become a society of freaks because "normal" people don't stand-up and say "ENOUGH"! I hate what Donald Trump represents and I don't watch his TV shows, gamble in his casinos, or live in any of his properties. Too bad more people don't stop supporting him.

    June 6, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • GT66

      Su Lynn: You sound like a bigot to me. These pageants and contests are arbitrary amusements for the human race. No life, no limb, no societal harmony depends on them. They are silly entertainment. In that light, who cares who participates?

      June 6, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • woman

      Su Lynn, you are absolutely right !

      June 6, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Howard

      If we are "whatever God made you," then you appear to also be saying God is responsible for all the birth defects and horrible physical aberrations that occur. Are you sure you really want to go there?

      June 6, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Aezel

      Ah yes, who gets to decide what is "normal." You? Your 2000 year old book of fairy tales written by barbaric desert nomads?

      Guess again you delusional fruit cake.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Jaime

      If the pageant was really about keeping things the way God made them, I tend to think most of the women wouldn't even be there. There are so many implants, injections, etc. that those women are more fake than any transgender person (which, sorry, is a real thing).

      June 6, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • A

      "I personally don't believe society should reward you for destroying what God make!"

      I trust you're also against any form of plastic surgery. Or trying to cure blindness and deafness. Or artificial limbs.

      Male and female gender roles have been set by society. Furthermore, the working theory is that there is some sort of defect during gestation that results in the fetus developing the organs of one s ex and the mindset of another. Transgendered people feel trapped in their bodies, their brain telling them one thing and their body another. Why should they be miserable, trapped, and unable to express their true selves just because people like you don't understand what they're going through?

      June 6, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Star

      Hope the next 5 generation of your family turn out gay, Just sayin' ^_^

      June 6, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
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