The Miss Universe Organization will allow Jenna Talackova to compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant after all, provided that she meet the legal requirements for being a woman in Canada. The head of Miss Universe Canada kicked her out two weeks ago after discovering that she is transgender. The official said that Talackova had to have been born a female to participate.
At the time, a brief statement on the front page of the website for Beauties of Canada, the company that oversees the Miss Universe Canada pageant, stated that Talackova had been removed from the competition “because she did not meet the requirements to compete despite having stated otherwise on her entry form.”
Talackova then tweeted that she was “disqualified for being born.” Proving one’s gender varies by province in Canada, according to the Vancouver Sun, and may require medical documents. In 2010, when she was 19, Talackova competed in Miss International Queen, a competition for transgender and transsexual people. In an interview posted on YouTube, she said she knew she was a girl at age 4.
Speaking with a girlish lilt, the tall blonde contestant said that she started hormone therapy at age 14 and underwent a sex change surgery at 19. GLAAD, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy group said the Miss Universe had taken an important first step. The group released a statement, saying, “The Miss Universe Organization should look to state non-discrimination laws and institutions including the Olympics, NCAA and The CW’s America’s Next Top Model, which do not discriminate against transgender women.”
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