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. Mark

    So what? The judges have the list of the five contestants that give the best BJs. I am sure it was a coincidence that they also happened to be in the top 5 in the pageant too.

    June 6, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bb

    The irony is, from the neck up she could totally pass for a transgender. Something "male trying to be a female" in her facial features.

    June 6, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Les

      If she were transgender and had a skilled physician, she would look like a female from top to bottom. Neither you nor anyone else could tell the difference and genetic testing would reveal that the transgender really was born with the wrong body parts before it was corrected to the NATURAL parts he/she should have been born but was not. It's all in genes or, more specifically, in the chromosomes.

      June 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Myto Senseworth

    Transgender means you look as good as the artistic skills of the surgeons and the makeup artists.

    June 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Myto Senseworth

    If transgender males.....(and they are still males)...want to compete, let them go to Canada.

    June 6, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. J

    If she disapproves then good for her. If you weren't born that way naturally, then you shouldn't be in the contest. Get over it. Next there will be no gender. Everyone will be whatever they want to make up. You won't even select a gender on applications, etc. This is ridiculous. Next year they will have to let someone who is transgender win just so they aren't being biased and then the ratings will drop through the floor for these stupid shows.

    June 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Live and Let Live

    Spoken like a true Christian.

    June 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Verbatim

      A true christian wouldn't judge the actions of others, and would have just turned the other cheek and continued down their own path without allowing it to get to them. It was spoken like a truly ignorant person that feels threatened by change.

      June 6, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. QuietStormX

    If her real reason for quiting is for men in these contests for Women, real women I see no problem with that on bit. I know I won't watch or have interest in shows like that with them. If you weren't born that way, you're not real but made up. These days you really can't tell if she is real inside and out?

    June 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. austexgal

    So funny to watch people get worked up over a silly contest that is staged for entertainment. If it offends you for some reason, then simply don't watch it– but getting upset over it is just. silly. I welcome transgender contestants... heck, being born male puts them at such a disadvantage in a contest where people are judged on conventional beauty ideals that if I actually watched beauty pageants in the first place, I think I would root for them to win! Imagine being born "wrong" and then enduring surgeries to change into who you feel you should be and doing it so well you fit in among the prettiest girls around. That is amazing and they totally have my respect.

    June 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ivan Bial

    I did not know Jesus, gets credit for that famous saying:

    When the going gets tough, QUITE.

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

      .. and when you can't spell "Quit", go back to school 🙂

      June 6, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. PC Wizard

    GOOD FOR HER!!!! May they all QUIT and let REAL Women compete!!! Let the rest go to New Orleans~~~~

    June 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tom

    Is there anyone out there who thought the gig wasn't fixed from the beginning? It's just another way for Trump to make money. The whole Miss organization needs to go away. It does nothing to prompt women in a positive manner.

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

    Actually, I think all pageants should be outlawed! Their a joke! What purpose do they serve? Seriously, some women make it a career. Their all losers if they think it really matters.

    June 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. randy

    I think it's funny-he/she did look better than the old quitter!

    June 6, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mike

    Today women are fighting to be admitted into what was once all male clubs – Women are lobbying to be priests, a position that was long held as an all male thing. Women are fighting for equal rights and pay in the work place as men. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. If women want to be included they also need to include.

    June 6, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • AndriconBoy

      There are no female priests. They're called "priestesses," and there are thousands of them in the US among many different religions.

      June 6, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. winkie

    I fully accept those that are transgender, straight, gay, whatever. What I don't think is right is to allow transgenders to be allowed in a born female pageant. Let there be beauty pageants for born females only, a pageant for trangenders only etc. They wouldn't allow a born female into a drag queen or transgender beauty pageant or male gay pageant so why should the other way around be allowed? Let's not be hypocrites!

    June 6, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • AndriconBoy

      @ winkie

      Yeah, and then lets have pageants only for white people, and only for people under a certain height, and then only for people with blond hair, and then so on, and so on, and so on.

      June 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
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