Miss Universe Gabriela Isler Says Transgender Beauty Queens Should Have Their Own Pageants

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Kommersant Photo via Getty Images
Kommersant Photo via Getty Images

The newly crowned Miss Universe seems to think transgender beauty queens don't have a rightful place in the Miss Universe pageant.

Former Miss Venezuela Gabriela Isler sat down with HuffPost Live Thursday to discuss her win, days after scoring the galactic title at the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Russia Nov. 9. The conversation moved to the topic of transgender contestants, which became a hot-button issue last year when Jenna Talackova was disqualified from the Miss Universe Canada pageant.

"Do you think that transgender people should be able to compete in international pageants?" HuffPost Live host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin asked.

"They should have their own pageant, I think, and maybe they can realize in this pageant, Miss Universe, or the other pageants [were] made for women," she said. "They are... they have the opportunity, but I think that they have to compete with the same... the same team. Right?"

So, she thinks transgender beauty queens should be able to compete, but only in certain pageants.

When further pressed about whether a transgender participant should be disqualified, Isler joked: "It's not my decision. I would like to have the power to make all of the decisions. But, as a human being, you have to [have the opportunity] to realize... to make your dreams come true."

The 2012 Miss Universe, USA's Olivia Culpo, previously supported the right of transgender beauty queens to compete for big titles.

"I do think it would be fair," she responded during the final round of questions for the 2012 Miss USA pageant, "[because] 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."

Following public outcry last year, Donald Trump's Miss Universe Organization (MUO) ultimately allowed Talackova to compete, moving to change the rules to allow transgender contestants to participate in Miss Universe. Paula Shugart, president of the MUO, told the Associated Press the organization supports "equality for all women."

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