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. Mike

    Haven't watched a pageant in years and will no longer watch them now. Looking at the beauty that is there on display and not knowing whether it once had different parts is just creepy to me.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  2. Ron in California

    So rigged pageants are a surprise?? I don't really care much for them...However allowing Transgender contestants is absurd. Here my queston if we are so PC can a white female enter the Miss Black America conest?

    June 6, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      So it now boils down to who has the most money to have themselves "made" into a beautiful woman.
      Money has soiled the pageant just as it has everything else in the world.
      Every contest has become a numbers game for the wealthy.
      From this simple tradition to our political contests.
      Wealth rules the world. The rest of us are just cattle.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. s~

    Get the transgenders out of beauty pageants and get the professionals out of the Olympics.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Alice

      And get conservatives out of my gay wedding ceremonies.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sam

    These are not mutually exclusive. I can believe both Miss Pen is a bigot and the contest is rigged without a major disruption to my reality.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      The "rigged" allegations have been around since the pageant started. Would she have been bothered if she would have won?

      June 7, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. JLS

    Good, if that is why she jumped ship, good for her. That joker can have all of the operations, take all of the hormones he wants, he is still a man and the decision to allow males to participate is a joke.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Butch

      The real question is can the transgender get in the kitchen and rattle some pots and pans and look pretty GD good doing it?

      June 7, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. oldbikerbeatch

    The issue is pathetic and utterly devoid of any importance or merit – but no more so than the idiocy contained in the vicious comments that have been posted. Just looking at the comments on this board are so very disturbing and a reflection of how ignorant and nasty people have become.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      You act surprised.
      This is nothing new.
      People haven't "become" this nasty.
      They've always been this way.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  7. notea4me

    She is an opportunist. This is an excuse to shun her contracted responsibilities as Miss PA while still getting the tons of media attention. Now she can go on as conservative media darling.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Alice

      She can follow in the footsteps of Anita Bryant. I hope she is not above pushing orange juice for a buck.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. blueworkshirt

    would a normal born woman be able to enter a transgender contest, NO, this world has become way to PC.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • jnail7


      would a normal born woman be able to enter a transgender contest, NO, this world has become way to PC."

      Actually, yes she would. She would be completely allowed to butch up and compete with the other transmen.

      But, how about we just get rid of all discriminatory categories. No men's/women's sports, no special minority categories, no special Olympics. Hey wait, that last one brings up a good point. Nothing technically prevents a disabled person from competing in the national Olympics (assuming they can qualify in their chosen sport). In fact, they would be cheered on as an inspiration due to their overcoming their perceived limitations. And if they won, everyone would go nuts for them.

      June 6, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Star

    Lol, sounds like LiL missy PA is butt hurt that she lost out to a smaller state, and the not born a girl looks better in dresses than she does lmao!

    June 6, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. Star

    lol I know right!

    June 6, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  11. Norm

    Must be humiliating to lose this pageant to a man.
    Sore loser?

    June 6, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Star


      June 6, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • K

      Norm, she did not lose the pageant.. that was for Women and he is not a woman..he can butchered all his body parts but wouldn't make him a woman. Norm who you try deceiving?

      June 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      @k, i agree. Hormone replacement and plastic surgery does not a woman make. He is still a he. Would they allow him to play in the wmba?

      June 6, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      The transgender is a woman to herself and that is all that really matters. It is time to dispense with the theory that God doesn't make mistakes. He has made some whoppers.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • dudley

      Super-silly post.

      I am a young millionaire to myself, but that makes me neither wealthy nor does it remove years. (It must be God's fault?)

      June 10, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maya

      How do you define "woman"?

      June 8, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • cleareye1

      The TG contestant was never a 'man.' She was always a woman with male genitalia, a problem that can be corrected.

      June 6, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      @cleareye, um no. Genetics decides gender, not your belief that you would be better as a man or a woman. And it shouldn't matter anyway, I've never seen a pic of a tv/tg that was not obviously a man. Like the RD dude, he is obviously a man.

      June 6, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • There are x x y and x y y

      Wrong......look up x x y and x y y and people born with a mixture of both organs....

      June 7, 2012 at 5:32 am | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      That is ultra rare, an irrelevant.

      June 7, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • n1j1n1

      Look, this is a man in a dress pure and simple. I'm NOT judging this person but come on some of the "science" I see in these posts are just silly.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • SilentBoy741

      So I guess that means that considering what my ex got from me in our divorce, she'd now considered transgender?

      June 7, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • twostroke

      can this person you say was always a woman concieve and deliver a baby like any other woman?I think not.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Just Jane

      Without invallidating the feelings of the transgender contestant, , "her" DNA is male and that much cannot be corrected. Surgery may make this person feel better re a gender re-assignment but scientifically speaking, the transgendered contestant remains XY.

      June 10, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • major tom

      Olivia Culpo, the winner, is transgendered? I don't think so!

      June 7, 2012 at 5:57 am | Report abuse |
    • JulianCA

      Yeah, that's my thinking. Let all the transgenders compete that want to - if our most beautiful "natural" women can't beat them then I think we've got other problems to think about ...

      June 7, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Beeezy

    I agree with Ms. PA – good for her! At least now beauty pageants are admitting that they're parading around fake plastic facades of 'women' that were created in a surgeon's office somewhere. Not only do we no longer have real beauty, but we no longer have real women!! Yuck!

    June 6, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Ted

      I think Miss PA is very beautiful. Too bad she chose to wear that gaudy jewelry. She looks like a Christmas tree.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. s~

    Her opinion makes her a biggot?

    June 6, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  14. Chris

    No matter which is her real reason, both are valid. If it's rigged she was right to stick to her core beliefs rather than compromise herself. And I don't think men should be in female beauty pageants. Call me old fashioned, call me whatever the hell you want. If it is a man or ever was a man, it does not belong in a female beauty pageant. It can start its own contest for it and others like it.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • DUDE5

      Well said sir.

      June 6, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mapgie3

    Frankly, I was so mortified at the decision to include transgender in the pageant that there's no way I will ever watch them again in my lifetime. Honestly....how disgusting can this country get? We have stooped to a new low here....

    June 6, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Tired of PC

      Good post! I agree!

      June 6, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • mark

      Let me guess? Christian?

      June 6, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
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