‘I believe it’s a free country,’ Miss USA says of transgendered contenders

Twenty-year-old Olivia Culpo was named Miss USA on Sunday evening.

We’ll out and confess we didn’t watch, but think we’ve still come up with a couple of takeaways thanks to a dispatch from the Associated Press in Las Vegas.

The report suggests the 20-year-old from Rhode Island cellist “strutted” and “shimmied” in equal measure. She sported at turns a lilac bikini and a purple evening gown “adorned with a sparkly belt.” Apparently she can “tie a cherry stem with her tongue.”

So far, so fine.

Anyway, the AP suggests Culpo faced the evening’s trickiest question: “Would you feel it would be fair that a transgender woman wins the Miss USA title over a natural-born woman?”

The soon-to-be Miss USA replied without hestitation:

“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.”

Oh, and one more thing from the sophomore at Boston University.

 “Beauty,” she said, “ is found in the way you treat others.”

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.