This year’s Miss USA crown was awarded to 20-year-old Olivia Culpo, a cellist from Rhode Island who professed her support of transgender beauty queens during the evening’s interview round.
Culpo was asked, “Would you feel it would be fair that a transgender woman wins the Miss USA title over a natural-born woman?”
She replied, “I do think that would be fair, but I could understand how people could be apprehensive to take that road.” The answer helped the beauty queen succeed over 51 contestants, including runner-up Miss Maryland, Nana Meriwether. Sunday’s event took place at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Culpo, a Boston University sophomore, will represent the nation in the 61st Miss Universe contest in December for a title that hasn’t been awarded to an American since 1997.