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. Myto Senseworth

    A transgender female is a genetic male with plastic surgery and makeup. She....uummmm.... he is still a male. " You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig."

    June 6, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  2. Michael

    Are we terribly shocked that the contest is rigged? Comon, its always been about money.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. mapgie3

    Truthfully, I kind of wish all the candidates had dropped out in order to protest transgenders entering the pageant.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Ashley

      Unfortunately for you, compassionate minds won out over knee jerk bigotry.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. TeamChaos

    transgender participants? what a joke. you can tell it was a man by the way they talk

    June 6, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • James

      The whole thing is a joke.

      Whether a transgendered person is dumb enough to enter is irrelevant. Beauty pageants simply promote unhealthy views of beauty, and no matter how much they say otherwise, do nothing to promote intelligence. Would anyone ever expect a winner over 200 lbs? Even if she was proven to be as intelligent, resourceful and accomplished as Marie Curie? Naw, ain't gonna happen.

      Pageants are simply another means of promoting and feeling good about vain, irrelevant values.

      I also think that fear is the primary motivator for opposing transgendered participants; people are scared they'll be attracted to one and it will make them feel gay. Maybe that's a good thing for promoting tolerance?

      June 6, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. TeamChaos

    Thank you for the freak show comment

    June 6, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. Myto Senseworth

    Miss Pennsylvania is the only winner.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  7. Vincent

    Fùdge packers and sausage queens should not be allowed in a WOMEN'S pageant. That is completely absurd. They have their own circus! Miss PA should be admired for doing the right thing!!! And yes, the ridiculous hair piece wearing doùche should be exposed for rigging the contest. Trump is a joke!

    June 6, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • GoGo

      I am going to have to disagree with you. Miss America pageant accepts contestants who have had cosmetic surgery. They also allow padding and other "unnatural" enhancements. Therefore, it is acceptable that any person who considers themselves a woman is allowed to compete. Natural beauty is not the main criteria in this pageant. It is hypocritical to demand that contestants are naturally born females, when the females competing are far from natural. 😉

      June 6, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ashenkk

    People now need to accept that the Miss USA Beauty Pageant is now a conglomerate of ciswomen and transwomen both. If ciswomen want their own exclusive beauty pageant then they can make a different one, but the Miss USA Beauty Pageant is now open to ALL women period, because this is what America is all about.

    I'm very pleased to see progress made towards human advancement in this area, and the decrease in bigotry towards trans people. It's just going to take more time for the narrow minded old fashioned values of the US to fizzle out, and then just maybe we can catch up to other countries who are way ahead of us on accepting issues like this.

    June 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • DUDE5


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

      Why don't you quit worrying so much what other people think of you in other countries? Change does not always equal progress my brainwashed liberal and not everything is a social experiment reaching toward what YOU find to be the advancement of our species. It's common sense silly. The Boy scouts, God forbid, are for boys. The girl scouts are for girls. Not everything has to be a politically correct, multicultural melting pot of liberal nonsense. It's a female contest. That would mean it's meant for FEMALES. Why must liblerals politicize EVERYTHING towards an agenda?

      June 6, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Manchester United

      Our country was found on those things that you say we need to go against. Just saying. The pageant should not have trans anything in it. It has always been about natural born women. Good for Miss PA.

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

    With the advance of technology and social evolution, gender is quickly becoming a none issue.
    These pageants are an antiquated form of female humiliation and are offensive to most people.
    These contestants allow themselves to be objectified for money and have no self esteem.
    They are nothing more than livestock or entries in a dog show.

    June 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • sancheuz

      that's what ugly people say.

      June 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • J

      Unless you never want to have kids gender is not some issue that can just be disregarded. Men are men and women are women. People like you that want to shame everyone into thinking you have to allow people to select "other" instead of a gender are ridiculous and wrong.

      June 6, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      “With the advance of technology and social evolution, gender is quickly becoming a none issue.”

      Oh really? According to who other than you?

      “These pageants are an antiquated form of female humiliation and are offensive to most people.”

      So you’d naturally just want to include transgender in the humiliation? These women don’t look very humiliated to me unless they’re hit with politically loaded questions asked by people like you who think everyone thinks the way YOU do.

      “These contestants allow themselves to be objectified for money and have no self esteem.”

      Oh they have no self esteem? Again…how do you know that? They’re adults. Not children forbidden to keep score in a ballgame lest it harm their self esteem. Lord you’re shining beacon of political correctness. YOU are the problem….but I hope I haven’t offended you….I’m sure you have a lawyer on speed dial when you get offended by anything you don’t agree with. Coward.
      “They are nothing more than livestock or entries in a dog show.”
      Then don’t watch it.

      June 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. WWRRD

    Men are men, women are women. That is nature. Don't let a few mis-wired people make the other 99% of the world change just to suit them.

    June 6, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Marc L from NY

    Of course the pageant is going to give a different reason than Miss Penn. And what a perfect opportunity for them to play up the PC card as well. She says they are dirty and crooked, and instead of confronting those allegations, they turn it into a "moral" argument. When confronted by logic and reason, the weak will always turn the argument into a "moral" argument, therefor using guilt.

    June 6, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Myto Senseworth

      No morals applied here. A transgender female is still genetically a male. What's next plastic surgery for apes so they can compete?

      June 6, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Cark

    Transgendered contestants should not be allowed. Only in the context that they had surgery to look the way they do. Same for women who may have had implants, hair extensions, botox injections or other cosmetic surgeries. If you're a contestant, you must be 100% natural or you cannot compete.

    June 6, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tia O.

      if only "natural" women competed with what god gave them -no botox, no tanning, no hair extensions, etc.- there would be no pageant.

      June 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sciguy73

      Thats right 100% natural. That means no makeup or deodorant either! Right Clark?

      June 6, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Star

    @A. exactly........ I know a couple transgender people who have gone from innie to outtie and outtie to innie....... those folks are just trying to be 'as normal as possible'....... I still don't agree with a transgender in a beauty pageant, but!..... I will support miss jenna tackalova (sp?) in her search for equality....... if I remember correctly, it was women who wanted to be "equal' to men in the first place, so now that a former male is trying to be "equal" to women... What is the problem? lmfao! Hypocritical much ladies????????

    June 6, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Vincent

    Men can't become women no matter how hard they try. Sorry frëaks, you are still a MAN!!! Gender is not something you can bend to your liking. And when you are in your 40's and the male characteristics overtake the hórmone therapy...and your fâcial hair kicks in and your adams apple is the size of a golf ball...we'll be there to laugh and point and you can cry and cry and be envious of real women!! FREAKS!!

    June 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • MD

      Sorry that everyone can not be like you Vincent. What a judgemental and hateful society we live in.....I bet a lot of people think you are a freak Vincent.

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

      So, do you "point and laugh" at amputees so they can "cry cry cry" as well? You can't ignore them, even though its none of your business, you need to go out of your way to tease them. You sound like a real winner.

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

      Are you a woman?

      June 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Les

      It's a matter of genetics and not plumbing. The genetics are real but the plumbing can take many forms. I would suggest a lot of education on gestation and genetics and the place that chemicals have in determine a body's plumbing. Ignorance and stupidity can be undone by education. People do have a right to express opinions BUT, when that opinion is based on nonsense and lies instead of the facts, it is invalid and deserves to be met with mockery and scorn. A point of fact, most folks on this list do not know the difference between gay, transgender or cross dressing. Stupidity reigns in the USA.

      June 6, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ron

    It sounds like Miss Pennsylvania has a problem with something but I'm not quite sure what. I do agree 100% with the part about transgenders not being allowed to enter these female beauty contests. Although I have softened much in the last 15 to
    20 years on the gay and transgender issues I still have some problems with it. I'm trying hard to understand.

    June 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
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