Sheena Monnin, the reigning Miss Pennsylvania USA (who did not make it into the final sixteen of the Miss USA pageant this weekend) has resigned from her post. She has publicly called the Miss Universe Organization's winner-selection process "fraudulent, lacking in morals, inconsistent and in many ways trashy," and alleged that the process is somehow rigged. But contest organizers say she revealed her true reasons for resigning in an email to them. In a statement to E! News, organizers said that Monnin "cited the Miss Universe Organization's policy regarding transgendered (sic) contestants, implemented two months ago, as the reason for her resignation." The Miss USA pageant says Monnin wrote that she would not 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."
Her outrage confllicts with the views of Miss USA winner Olivia Culpo of Rhode Island, who, when asked about this policy change during the pageant with regards to Jenna Talackova, said she supported the inclusion of transgender women into the competition.
“Sheena Monnin apparently decided to quit, rather than be aligned with an organization that treats all women as women,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. "As more and more Americans get to know transgender people in their communities, in the workplace, and through the media, they are discovering the humanity that society has refused to acknowledge for so long. Monnin is out of touch with fair-minded Americans who believe that trans men and women are worthy of the same dignity, respect, and opportunity as all other men and women."
"As a trans person and a Pennsylvanian, I'm disappointed that the now former Miss Pennsylvania feels such bigotry toward trans people," said National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Mara Keisling. "She says she is upset about a lack of honesty and fair play in the contest, but the real lack of honesty may be her unwillingness to publicly express her apparent transphobia. There is also a real need for allowing honestly by trans women who are being their true selves.”