Pageant backtracks, lets transgender beauty compete
Published Monday, April 2, 2012 6:01PM PDT
A transgender B.C. beauty queen will be allowed to compete in the Miss Universe Canada pageant after all.
Vancouver's Jenna Talackova was named one of 65 original contenders for the beauty title, but was dropped from the Miss Universe Canada website days after bloggers discovered that she was born male.
The Donald Trump-owned pageant explained that Talackova "did not meet the requirements to compete" and representatives said their rules stipulated that contestants must be born female.
But the pageant organizers have now backtracked and say the buxom, 6-1 tall blonde can compete in the pageant in May, "provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions."
Talackova described the original slight as discrimination and hired legal counsel in Canada and the U.S. Famed feminist lawyer Gloria Allred was set to represent her south of the border, and had scheduled a press conference for Tuesday to announce what legal action she planned to take if Talackova was not allowed to compete.
The beauty queen has previously represented Canada at Miss International Queen, a transsexual beauty pageant in Thailand, where she placed as a finalist.
In an interview posted on YouTube, Talackova says she began to identify as a woman at four years old and began hormone therapy at 14. She had her reassignment operation at 19.