Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation
World News

Canada

Trump overrules rejection of transgender Miss Universe Canada contestant

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

U.S. businessman Donald Trump, owner of the Miss Universe Organization, on Tuesday overruled a decision by pageant officials, and said a transgender contestant will be allowed to compete in the Miss Universe Canada competition.

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

Gloria Allred (left) and Jenna Talackova

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 as long as Talackova “meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada” and other international competitions.

Talackova, who carries a Canadian passport, driver’s license and birth certificate that all identify her as a woman, held a press conference on Tuesday with Los Angeles-based attorney Gloria Allred, a high-profile legal advocate for women’s causes, demanding to be allowed back into the contest.

But by then, pageant organizers had already reversed course on Talackova’s eligibility at the behest of Trump, reported Reuters.

“As long as she meets the standards of legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, which we understand that she does, Jenna Talackova is free to compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant,” said Michael Cohen, special counsel to Trump and executive vice president of his business group.

“Nobody is capitulating. Rather the Miss Universe organization is respecting the laws of Canada,” Cohen told Reuters, adding that she, “like all the other contestants, is wished the best of luck by Mr. Trump.”

He also said, “Assuming she wins, she would be the representative of that country (Canada)” in the larger Miss Universe Pageant.

Allred has called on the Miss Universe organization to abolish its rule requiring contestants to be “naturally born” females, calling it “an antiquated rule grounded in prejudice, fear and stereotypes.”

Cohen said the organization “is taking this issue under advisement.”

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 competition is May 19 in Toronto.

Archives: , , , , , ,

Filed under: North America

43 more reader comments:

  1. Perhaps he not as bigoted as I thought. lol

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:36pm
  2. Next thing you’ll see is a bunch of male drag queens demanding to participate since it’s no longer a natural female only competition. DNA tests still show Jenna to be a man; that will never change.

    That this transgendered man demanded to enter into the contest is very similar to women demanding to get into men-only places while not allowing men into women-only places.

    I think the competition should be all natural women competing, and that anyone having surgery to change themselves must be automatically excluded.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:37pm
  3. That is amazing. RIght on Mr. Trump!!!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:38pm
  4. Are you sure it wasn’t his son?

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:39pm
  5. Thanks for that enlightened opinion, Philip…

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:40pm
  6. i bet she wins she so prity

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:41pm
  7. wow that shocks me coming from donald trump!!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:41pm
  8. Well… when you own your own pageant you can make that rule. (DNA tests for everyone!)

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:42pm
  9. great for the contestant!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:42pm
  10. Philip kind of stupid to demonstrate your hate speech on this forum… good way to get reported

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:43pm
  11. Philip: that is so bigoted!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:44pm
  12. Yay I’m over the moon for this gorgeous woman. Couldn’t be any happier for her!!! Good things come to those who wait. She did this all with such beautiful grace.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:45pm
  13. Philip, you didn’t read the article. She is a WOMAN. Not a man. She has had full sexual reassignment surgery, and it’s not about what you have between your legs, but about how you identify.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:45pm
  14. I agree with you Heather, not the kind of news I expected from Donald Trump. But, still welcome the news all the same.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:46pm
  15. Oh hell yeah, I hope that she shows them what she’s got. Go get “em girl!!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:46pm
  16. Wow I m pleasantly surprised…good for you Mr. Trump

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:48pm
  17. kinda shocked, but yay!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:48pm
  18. GO TRUMP! Loves it!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:50pm
  19. Phillip: Perhaps if you actually READ the article in its FULL entirety, then you WOULD know that the WOMAN is ACTUALLY a WOMAN. She MAY HAVE been born a biological male, but she is NOW a woman. Perhaps you should save your bigotry for the forums where limpdicked bigots like you belong? If you have nothing positive to say about this beautiful woman, then you should just shut-up! Thank you, and have a wonderful night. #StompingOutBigotsAllTheTime

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:50pm
  20. Hey, just thought that there might be some people on this page that world be interested in a page that was made by Texas high schoolers. Its the ‘anti rainbow club’ they post pictures and statuses talking about killing gays. Its a private group, but you can still see the admins’ and the members’ profiles.
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/282168848524863/?_rdr
    Have at ‘em.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:51pm
  21. Yayy show em girl

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:51pm
  22. Philip, I have a link that says even if DNA proves her to be male, her actual brain topography will be that of a female, as there is a physical difference in the brains. This makes being transgendered a physiological truth.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20032-transsexual-differences-caught-on-brain-scan.html

    If the pageant did have a rule that said no plastic surgery would be allowed, you would definitely be correct there.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:52pm
  23. It’s really sad how so many people are so ignorant… SHE is a woman, and that is all there is to it. It’s not complicated at all. She happened to be transgendered, so what? The media frenzy about this was really disconcerting :/ but I’m glad that Trump finally did something good :)

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:53pm
  24. Elizabeth, it is well worth the effort to report that page, and have it removed form facebook.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:53pm
  25. Beauty pageants are retarded, shallow and destructive.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:54pm
  26. The right move, but I fear it’s to make the Republiclown Party seem less bigoted toward lgbtq’s

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:58pm
  27. Ok reported that group to facebook,the one you mentioned Elizabeth..have at them everyone.the more reports the better..

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:59pm
  28. Well, this is besides the fact that pageant officials said that as long as her country’s laws view her as female, she’ll be allowed to compete. And, in her case, her country’s laws DO view her as being female. And, Philip, I actually feel some pity for you, because you have no idea what the world is like outside of your own bigoted little vision.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 11:06pm
  29. I reported them too. I guess transgendered lizards have more heart than Texas students.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 11:12pm
  30. For you folks surprised by Trump’s move… really? With the protest we’ve made it clear that we have a lot of money we’re willing to throw around. Money trumps everything for Trump. :)

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 11:14pm
  31. Also reported the nasty group. Let’s flood them with reports!! Abuse against any group of people because of sexual orientation (among other reasons) is clearly against FB ToS………..

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 11:17pm
  32. go go trump!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 11:34pm
  33. Trump did the right thing…probably because she has Allred by her side.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 12:16am
  34. the article makes it sound like Trump had overturned the organizers before she contacted Alred.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 12:19am
  35. Thanks to the Donald for making sure this young womon can compete! <3 maria <3

    Posted on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 4:53am
  36. I had to read it 3 times to make sure I read it right. lol. What a triumph for the LGBT community! Awesome!

    Posted on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 5:19am
  37. This move creates controversy and controversy creates viewers. Beauty pageants have been losing viewers for years, what a great way to stimulate new interest by creating a lot of press about it, negative or positive. I am happy for that beautiful young woman that she gets to compete in this archaic, shallow ritual, if that is what she wants, but don’t give Donald Trump credit for suddenly finding compassion.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 6:21am
  38. Thumbs up for Trump!

    Posted on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 6:44am
  39. Second thought….fire the pageant officials!

    Posted on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 6:45am
  40. Phillip – There would be no pageant if no one was allowed to alter their looks in some way. I highly doubt that any of them are “all natural”, as you put it.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 7:07am
  41. Good business for TRUMP…no other reason.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 9:44am
  42. The sub text here was that Canada actually has protections for Women who are discriminated against in this way, so yes Trump made a business decision not a moral one.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 2:57pm
  43. She is so gorgeous!

    Posted on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 3:41pm