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Newly crowned Miss USA Olivia Culpo says she would support a transgender beauty pageant winner.
Rhode Island's Culpo, in a competition-first, fielded a question submitted via Twitter in the all-important interview round.Judge Rob Kardashian asked the 20-year old Boston University student “would you feel it would be fair that a transgender woman wins the Miss USA title over a natural-born woman?”
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In her reply Culpo said that she considers such a result fair, adding that "I can understand that people would be a little apprehensive to take that road because there is a tradition of natural-born women.”
In a deft move Culpo fell back on the old adage that proclaims America is the land of the free.
“But today where there are so many surgeries and so many people out there who have a need to change for a happier life," she said. "I do accept that because I believe it’s a free country.”
The question follows the controversial disqualification of Miss Universe Canada contestant Jenna Talackova, a model who underwent gender reassignment surgery at age 19.
Talackova was readmitted into the competition after an intervention by Donald Trump, the high profile owner of the Miss Universe franchise, and ended up placing in the final 12.
Transgender contestants are now officially welcome to compete in the Miss Universe pageant.
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