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. Emily

    It just saddens me to read the comments section on any article to do with trans people. The immediate recourse to words like 'freak', 'tr*nny', and other outright displays of hate . . . that's what really makes me worry about the future. I don't want to type anymore. I already feel unclean knowing I share the word 'humanity' with some of the vicious trolls here.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  2. Pat

    oh please, that's a looser crying out.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  3. jdupree05

    And as for the comment on birth defects and the likely, God is not responsible for that. All those "bad things" came about when sin entered the world. Whether you choose to believe that, or not, is on you. I can't make you believe those things. End of story.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Scoot

      And we cant get through to you because you believe in fairy tails. We are all monkeys and monkeys just want to play and not listen to psychos like you...

      June 6, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      I thought your god made EVERYTHING.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Seraphim0

      Wait, wait... you're saying birth defects and any other problems with Birth are not anything to do with God, but sin? Well, then you cannot place the 'gift' of birth with god, either, then. Either he is responsible for the whole package, or he is not. You cannot argue such fallible logic in such a conversation. It's like the problem with an all benevolent, all powerful, and all knowing god (which of course, is a logical problem I sure you never even knew existed).

      June 6, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  4. Aher One

    MISS FLORIDA is the one who saw the List. She told other girls about it

    Why isn't anyone asking her? WHY IS SHE BEING SILENT??

    Trump must have scared the bejeezus out of her to not come forward and tell the truth and support Miss Pennsylvania.

    He's already threatening to sue the girls who know about the FRAUD THAT TOOK PLACE. BULLY.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Ana

      Miss Fla. was asked and she denied it. He got to her. It's easy for him to intimidate young girls who have nothing on their minds except winning the crown. If they all banned together, he wouldn't have a chance.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  5. NeuterYourself

    Everyone who comments on a CNN message board is a candidate for transgender surgery... lol ;o

    June 6, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  6. Duke One

    I don't blame her.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  7. Bruce

    These pageants are all dinosaurs now, they've seen there day, and should have gone out a long time ago with the buggy whip.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. Alex

    If you wanna see tranny pegeant than make one for them. I only want to see REAL nature-created women compete, not some man-made bizzaros.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Throw the first stone

      tAlex, try to remember that the next time you stare at women's rack. She may or may not be a real women (as you put it) and those may or may not be fakes.

      Wrap your mind around that thought train.
      Either way you must get sick an awful lot.

      June 6, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dr Mason

    Lets be blatantly real about this...transgender or not most of the women are stuff and plumped with some sort of chemical from Dow-Corning...lets just cut out all the contestants who have had "rebeautifcation/restoration" work done. Lets have "real" contestants.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Ana

      Those days are long gone. Even our food is artificial.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  10. TrumpsATransGender

    I heard Trump was born with female parts... That's why he adopts strange-looking kids.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Ana

      I never heard that, but wouldn't be surprised. He is so weird looking. That hair, those lips, his entire demeanor is off somehow.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. Vincent

    Good for her. A MAN should have never been allowed to compete. It was ridiculous and an insult to the women [participating. Transgenders are STILL men & they are disgusting freaks. Why on earth some of the pansies in the media play it politically correct is beyond me.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Anne

      you are really quite sad with your antiquated and bigoted comments.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Ana

      It's all about money, power, and publicity. I wish all those contestants would have had the guts to walk away and leave Trump high and dry after letting transgenders compete. Why then not let gay men also compete?

      June 6, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  12. Yellow Journalism

    WOW! I can't believe I took time to actually read this story about Trump and his little project. I've stooped to a new low.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  13. Lady Chris

    Pageants have nothing to do with femininity or "womanhood". They are a a showcase for artifice—and that's not a bad thing—but it means that it really doesn't matter what's b/n your legs. The fact that some MtF transgenders can pass w/o detection should tell you something about that. Everyone just needs to chill and not take these things so seriously. I hope all the ladies have a good time!

    June 6, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  14. Cherries

    She quit because of her own views and anyone should be respectul of that. She made a very quiet exit without bashing anyone or pointing fingers. One cannot expect everyone to be accepting of their unique positions.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      Quiet exit?????????????
      She's making public claims that the whole thing is rigged!!

      Good thing she went quietly. Hate too imagine noisy.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  15. Ana

    I admire the strength and moral character shown by Miss PA. Most woman in beauty contests are so vain, self centered and superficial that they would give up having a mind of their own for that coveted crown. I also agree with her on the transgender issue. Next they'll be letting gay men compete for Miss USA.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
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