Rhode Island Beauty Stands Up For Trans Women, Takes The Crown At Miss USA

Olivia Culpo, a 20-year-old from Rhode Island, took the Miss USA crown Saturday night right after she told judges she’d support a transgender contestant in the 60-year-old beauty contest.During the final interview, Culpo was asked a question sent by Twitter: “Would you feel it would be fair that a transgender woman wins the Miss USA title over a natural-born woman?”

Culpo didn’t hesitate to answer in the affirmative: “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.

The graceful beauty said she wasn’t thrown by the question. “This is a free country—to each their own.”

This year, the Miss USA organization agreed to change it’s rules to allow Canadian trans woman Jenna Talackova compete. While Talackova didn’t win Miss Canada, she did place in the top 12.

Photo: GLAAD