Olivia Culpo became Miss USA 2012 Sunday night during the 61st annual pageant after winning support for her comments about transgender pageant contestants.
The Miss USA pageant was held Sunday night at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Presided over by Donald Trump, the 51 contestant pageant was narrowed down slowly to just five by the time the final question round came about.
One of the most controversial questions asked was given to eventual winner Olivia Culpo, of Rhode Island. Culpo was passed the "special" question submitted by fans via Twitter: "Would it be fair if a transgender woman won the Miss USA title?"
Culpo gave a sympathetic answer to those who might feel opposed to transgender contestants, but explained that as for herself she was open to competing against a transgender contestant.
"I do think it would be fair ..." Culpo remarked.
She admitted that some people "might be apprehensive" because traditionally the competition was open only to those naturally born female. However, she went on to explain, "There are so many people who have a need to change for a happier life. I do accept that because I believe it's a free country."