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Transgender contestant may be allowed back into Miss Universe pageant

Must meet 'legal gender recognition requirements'
Monday, April 2, 2012

A transgender beauty pageant contestant who was disqualified last week from the Miss Universe Canada competition after the organizers discovered that she had undergone surgery to become a woman, may be allowed to re-enter the competition if she can prove she meets the “legal gender recognition requirements,” pageant organizers announced Monday.

Jenna Talackova

Jenna Talackova, a 23-year-old transgender woman, had reached the finals of the Miss Vancouver competition, but was ousted from the competition because organizers said she lied about having undergone sexual reassignment surgery.

Initially, pageant officials said each contestant must be a “naturally born female,” but in a statement released Monday, Miss Universe officials indicated that they might reverse their earlier decision.

“The Miss Universe organization will allow Jenna Talackova to compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions,” according to a statement by Trump headquarters in New York City.

The brief statement — which did not specify what such requirements entail — came shortly after Talackova announced that she, and high-profile lawyer Gloria Allred, have scheduled a news conference for Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Vancouver constitutional lawyer Joe Arvay, who is on Talackova’s legal team, said the pageant requirement for “natural born” females does not comply with Canadian human rights legislation and that a complaint will be filed with the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

“In the absence of clarity, we will be proceeding,” Arvay said. “At the present time, it’s gobbledygook.”

Allred’s office said its news conference is still proceeding as planned.

The decision to drop Talackova from the pageant led to charges of discrimination and fostered an online petition signed by more than 40,000 people calling for her reinstatement.

Talackova said she has identified as female since age four, began hormone therapy at 14 and had sex reassignment surgery in 2010.

The Miss Universe Canada pageant is a franchise licensed by the Miss Universe Organization, headed by U.S. business magnate Donald Trump.

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27 more reader comments:

  1. That is GREAT news!!!!!!

    Posted on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 9:32pm
  2. Its only fair and total BS that the disqualification occurred

    Posted on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 9:33pm
  3. yay :))!

    Posted on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 9:33pm
  4. I still believe it’s unfair that she was kicked out in the first place. Surgery or not, she wants to be a woman, and in her mind, she is one. So treat her like one

    Posted on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 9:33pm
  5. Sucks for the other ladies cuz she looks gorgeous!

    Posted on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 9:36pm
  6. Why???

    Posted on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 9:37pm
  7. good!! no expect to win but dignity its more important

    Posted on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 9:37pm
  8. best of luck

    Posted on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 9:47pm
  9. She looks so much like Ivanka to me!

    Posted on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 9:49pm
  10. She’s beautiful !

    Posted on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 9:50pm
  11. I don’t think it’s a question of Gender, it’s more of a question of surgery vs nature. Like ball players taking Steroids. Is a pageant about natural beauty, or the skill of a plastic surgeon? Is it then OK for women with Breast or other types of Implants to enter the contest? Botox shots to the lips? Where do you draw the line?

    Posted on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 9:52pm
  12. Awesome. Hope she wins

    Posted on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 9:54pm
  13. wow shes beautiful

    Posted on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 9:58pm
  14. Dislike!

    Posted on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 10:05pm
  15. I don’t think that is right, but then again, I don’t think that any person should be allowed to compete in any pageant if they’ve had cosmetic surgery. (I should clarify and say “unnecessary cosmetic surgery”…since some people do need to undergo cosmetic surgery to live.)

    Posted on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 10:11pm
  16. Shs so beautiful my type of girl

    Posted on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 10:12pm
  17. Those comments on here are so much better than the ones I saw on same article posted by Global BC (my local news)… 90% of the comments are full of hate and disgusting remarks. Anyway, great for that girl… way to go! Hope she wins!

    Posted on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 10:29pm
  18. the thing about her plastic surgery as “cosmetic”, it’s not.
    she got the surgery to fix her body to match her mind. (not that she was broken, but it’s the only way I can think of how to word it at this moment)
    She didn’t get breast implants to be better than the other girls as an effort to get a better chance at winning. She got them because her body did not match her mind.
    in some cases, it is a life and death thing for trans* beings. it is really, really hard for them to be accepted, even in the LGBT+ community and that saddens me.

    Posted on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 10:37pm
  19. I’m still really disappointed. This shouldn’t have happened in the first place… It’s her judgement to disclose whether she’s transgendered or not, and often I’ve found that people do not associate with their past self. I find it sad that even if she got back in people would only view her as transgendered and not as the beautiful girl that she deserves to be recognized as.

    Posted on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 10:44pm
  20. but if other contestants can have ANY alteration to themselves even down to hair extentions and botox this Transgender lady has the same rights….now if it was said that no contestants can have ANY surgery that alters their looks in any way than I dont think she would qualify…

    Posted on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 10:51pm
  21. i dont care what they think..i think women are beautiful and post-op transgendered mtw are some of the most beautiful i know. i think IF SHE IS POST-OP TRANSGENDERED THEN SHE IS SUPPOSED TO BE PERFECT IN EVERY WAY AS A WOMAN TO GET THIER GENDER CHANGED ON THIER BIRTHCERTIFICATE.

    Posted on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 11:53pm
  22. The woman should snub them and move on. She doesn’t need their pity or false respect.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 1:30am
  23. She better be allowed back in!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 5:43am
  24. She’s gorgeous!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 6:34am
  25. Shes beautiful and I give her so much respect for wanting to go back after her incredible embarrassment.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 7:27am
  26. She deserves to win x3

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 7:56am
  27. And she’s gorgeous too!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 1:37pm