Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation

New rules at Miss Universe: transgender women welcome in all pageants

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Miss Universe Organization on Tuesday announced that it is changing its rules and will allow transgender women to take part in all of its competitions starting in 2013.

The announcement comes just weeks after contestant Jenna Talackova, a transgender woman, was disqualified from competing for the title of Miss Universe Canada because she was not a “naturally born female.”

Jenna Talackova

Talackova, 23, had reached the finals of the Miss Vancouver competition, but was ousted from the competition when organizers said she lied about having undergone sexual reassignment surgery.

Following the move to disqualify Talackova, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) contacted the Miss Universe Organization, and called on pageant officials to open the competition to transgender women.

Last week, pageant officials indicated they might reverse their earlier decision as long as Talackova “meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada” and other international competitions.

But by then, U.S. businessman Donald Trump, owner of the Miss Universe Organization, overruled pageant officials, and said Talackova would be allowed to compete in the Miss Universe Canada competition, but until now, the organization had not announced any change in its official entry requirements.

“For more than two weeks, the Miss Universe Organization and Mr. Trump made it clear to GLAAD that they were open to making a policy change to include women who are transgender,” said GLAAD spokesperson Herndon Graddick. “We appreciate that he and his team responded swiftly and appropriately.”

[...]

“Jenna and all of the LGBT advocates who have called for this change and spoken out in support of transgender women are to be commended. At a time when transgender people are still routinely denied equal opportunities in housing, employment and medical care, today’s decision is in line with the growing levels of public support for transgender people across the country.”

Paula Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization, credited GLAAD with leading the discussion that resulted in today’s announcement:

“We want to give credit where credit is due, and the decision to include transgender women in our beauty competitions is a result of our ongoing discussions with GLAAD and not Jenna’s legal representation, which if anything, delayed the process. We have a long history of supporting equality for all women, and this was something we took very seriously,” Shugart said.

Talackova had enlisted the help of Los Angeles-based attorney Gloria Allred, a high-profile legal advocate for women’s causes, in demanding to be allowed back into the contest.

“No one likes it when they’re left out of something because of who they are. This is especially true for transgender people — people like Jenna Talackova — who are denied opportunities because they’re told that who they are is ‘unnatural,’” said Mara Keisling, Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, in a statement.

“So I get that Jenna probably still doesn’t feel good about the situation. But it’s a noteworthy thing for a group like the Miss Universe Organization and Donald Trump to switch positions allowing Jenna to participate, and to commit to developing transgender inclusive rules. This is a good thing, and it’s a sign of how more and more people get trans issues,” Keisling said.

Archives: , , , , , ,

Filed under: National Headlines

51 more reader comments:

  1. as they shood be

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 5:49pm
  2. Yes after that last girl being banned it is right they should be allowed

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 5:49pm
  3. Baby steps….

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 5:50pm
  4. wooohoooo!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 5:51pm
  5. Yay!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 5:52pm
  6. win!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 5:53pm
  7. Shes pretty enough

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 6:00pm
  8. she is very pretty. Good luck.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 6:02pm
  9. NOW THAT’S AWESOME

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 6:03pm
  10. Yay!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 6:05pm
  11. SWEEET!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 6:05pm
  12. Good it’s time that they shld know that we r people too n to show that we can do mor in life than others realize!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 6:05pm
  13. Awesomesocks! :)

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 6:06pm
  14. said it before, yay for equality, meh for objectification of women…

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 6:07pm
  15. It’s about time they accept all women!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 6:09pm
  16. AMAZING!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 6:11pm
  17. Right on

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 6:11pm
  18. We killin it!!! Yeah!!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 6:17pm
  19. And a Native peep at that! :)

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 6:21pm
  20. I think most people reailze a Miss Universe pageant member should be her own person as hard as that can be. Do you think this reinforces that or not?

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 6:34pm
  21. That’s the way if should be….. no judgements

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 6:36pm
  22. She’s HOT! :)

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 6:37pm
  23. well done!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 6:41pm
  24. From boring old beauty pageant to circus side show….good going trannies.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 6:42pm
  25. That’s so awesome Were all human. And most trans girls are more put together then the real thing. I’m so hope she makes it

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 6:46pm
  26. That is all fine and dandy but what about Transmen who want to compete in things like Mr. Universe? and bodybuilding competitions?

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 6:52pm
  27. no one would have guessed ..if ya hadnt told me……

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 6:55pm
  28. is it wrong I’d love to be able to buy a copy of penthouse featuring her??

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 6:58pm
  29. We have heard “The Rules”. What are they? How many are there? The Olympic Committee used genetic testing to define male / female players. Why does “Miss Universe” not do the same? If you take away the hormone therapy,masculine traits reappear. The defining xx and xy genetic code does determine male / female. Why not use the genetic code for the pageant? People need to realize,this is more than “pageant rules”. I only wish the best for all.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 6:59pm
  30. w.e carol ann.. wow you are filled with hate..

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 7:09pm
  31. Shakes my head, when a trans person has SRS surgery biology goes out the door. DUH!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 7:20pm
  32. @ John. Sorry you mistake biology for hate.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 7:21pm
  33. And in all fairness they should give her the title!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 7:32pm
  34. That’s what I call growth! Yes!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 7:46pm
  35. FUCK YEAH!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 8:27pm
  36. she is so far beyond a 10 it’s sick… if I wasn’t married I’d so want to date this woman!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 8:37pm
  37. wow! That’s really cool

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 8:57pm
  38. Woooooooooooooo@@

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 9:02pm
  39. Congrats for all.. Don’t judge period.. Love one another….

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 9:42pm
  40. it’s weird for me to comment this way but i think it will still be best to keep the pageant exclusively for women.Donald Trump should establish a separate pageant that caters to TG only unless he really wanted controversy there’s nothing we can do about it we all know he’s only after the money…

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 9:49pm
  41. if ya got a y chromosome, don’t matter how much cosmetic surgery you’ve had.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 9:54pm
  42. They had to take it that far to allow it ! Well the result is here and this is the most important part of it

    Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 10:27pm
  43. I can’t stand Donald, but I do have to say he made a good move, he knew he’d have a whole lot of hell on his hands if he made a different decision!

    Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 1:46am
  44. Zaretome Isoka, so you consider trans women to be men then? Trump doesn’t need to make these decisions for money, he’s richer than sin.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 2:22am
  45. Fantastic!!! :D

    Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 3:42am
  46. Isn’t she transexual not trangendered?

    Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 3:51am
  47. yayy :D

    Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 3:59am
  48. Yes! We won the battle and we’ll win the war.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 5:01am
  49. I don’t know why transexual women think it’s boobs, make-up, stilettos and big jewelry that make you a woman. There’s much more complexity to being a woman than sporting false eyelashes and wearing a dress. A snip snip here and a snip snip doesn’t change the natural dynamics of a person. Sexuality is beyond the grasp of a surgeons knife, it’s in the essence of your being.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 6:40am
  50. That’s a pageant I want to see!

    Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 7:18am
  51. Maybe finally the United States is beginning to see the light.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 11:11am