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Should Transgender Contestants be Allowed to Enter Beauty Pageants?

Although opening up the contest to transgender contestants isn't cited as a reason behind the latest Miss USA controversy, pageant officials say former Miss Pennsylvania USA contestant Sheena Monnin quit because she opposed competing against transgender c

There is often controversy surrounding the Miss USA competition and this year is no different. 

Miss Universe Organization co-owner Donald Trump says he plans to file a lawsuit against former Miss Pennsylvania USA contestant Sheena Monnin after she accused pageant organizers of fraud — Monnin says the competition was fixed and that she had evidence the top five contestants were selected in advance of Sunday’s show.

“She said some really strong things,” Trump said during an appearance on NBC’s Today show Wednesday morning. “When she’s using the word ‘fraud,’ that’s pretty strong, so we’re going to be suing her on that basis.”

Monnin turned in her Miss Pennsylvania sash and crown Monday, calling the pageant fraudulent, lacking in morals and trashy.

Miss Universe officials said Monnin only recently changed her reasons for the resignation.

"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," a statement said.

According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, pageant officials said Monnin really quit because she opposed competing against transgender contestants, who were allowed into the pageant for the first time this year.

Pageant officials released an e-mail message they said they received from Monnin on Monday that read, “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 (sic) moral fiber of my being.”

In April, the Miss Universe Organization ended a ban on transgender contestants after Canadian Jenna Talackova, who was born male, faced disqualification from the pageant.

So what do you think about transgender contestants competing in Miss Universe Organization pageants? Should they be allowed to compete or should the competitions be open only to natural born women?

North Georgia Weather June 08, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Well, from this guys point of view, no.
Deanna Allen June 08, 2012 at 05:04 PM
I think many people like to think of gender as black and white — male or female. But it's not black and white for everyone. According to the American Psychological Association, "Transgender is an umbrella term for persons whose gender identity, gender expression, or behavior does not conform to that typically associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth. Gender identity refers to a person’s internal sense of being male, female, or something else; gender expression refers to the way a person communicates gender identity to others through behavior, clothing, hairstyles, voice, or body characteristics." So there are individuals who do not conform to their biological sex. Do we base how we treat them on the genitals they were born with or do we base how we treat them on how they actually see themselves and are comfortable? Just to complicate the discussion further, what about individuals who are intersex? (Read more here: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001669.htm.) Even physiological sex isn't black and white ...
Kevin McIntyre June 08, 2012 at 05:30 PM
I think that trans-women should be allowed to compete in beauty pageants if they want to. They should have the same rights that natural born women have. I personally think that trans-women are just as or even more beautiful on the inside and the outside than natural women.
Sharon Swanepoel June 08, 2012 at 05:55 PM
I think you're right Kevin. The first transgendered woman I met many, many years ago and I will never forget what a compassionate person she was. She was a member of a dive club I belonged to back in South Africa. We took a group of orphans out on a trip one day, she was the person most of them were able to relate to. I always thought it was because she probably had experienced being an outsider and could understand these kids better than anyone else. Eventhough she worked so well with them, it broke her heart. I found her crying in the bathroom over one child who had clung to her like a monkey the day, but she never let them see that it upset her. Many of the people in the dive club made fun of her behind her back, which was sad. She had so much inner beauty.
Bill Wheaton June 14, 2012 at 03:00 AM
Is she beautiful? What else matters? Beauty pagents are archaic anyway. They call young women to have impossible to meet standards and lower their self image.

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