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Nia Imani Franklin, representing New York state, was crowned the 98th Miss America in Atlantic City on September 9. The 25-year-old is the ninth Black woman to win the pageant. The North Carolina native is making the media rounds and opened up about the ban against transgender women competing in the competition.

SEE ALSO: Gorgeous Photos Of Nia Franklin, The Ninth Black Woman To Win Miss America

According to, “One of the competition’s official rules is that you have to be a ‘natural born woman’ to compete, therefore eliminating transgender women and non-binary women.” In an interview on “The Clay Cane Show” on Sirius XM Urban View channel 126, Cane asked Franklin, “Do you think trans women should be allowed to compete?”

Franklin responded, “That’s something I haven’t given a lot of thought to. I could see the organization may be going into a different direction in the future, but at this time our goal is just to focus on women who want to further their education.”

She continued, “If trans women want to compete I think they should be able to — that’s not something I think we are really putting too much emphasis on as far as, ‘Are you trans? Check this box’ when you compete. When I competed, in my application, there was nothing that asked me if I was a trans woman or not, so we’re definitely not discriminating.”

Cane did confirm there is currently a ban on transgender women, but Franklin said it was her opinion that trans women should be able to compete. Click here to hear Nia Imani Franklin in her own words.


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