The beauty queen who was born a boy won’t be kicked out of the Miss Universe Canada competition after all. Jenna Talackova, 23, was thrown out of the pageant, founded by Donald Trump, when organisers found out she had undergone surgery to become a woman.
Officials denied charges of discrimination and said the reason why a male-to-female transgender contestant could not compete was because Miss Talackova lied on her application form. However Miss Universe authorities have appeared to have a change of heart after claiming the young woman had been ‘dishonest’.
Michael D Cohen, executive vice president and special counsel to Donald Trump, wrote in an email to ABC: ‘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.’
The transgendered contestant had already successfully reached the finals in the Miss Vancouver pageant before she was banned from continuing in the competition.
After becoming suspicious, director Denis Davila questioned Ms Talackova, 23, who said that, even though she written on her application that she had been born a female, that was not the case. ‘We have to have the facts straight. There is no discrimination here at all,’ Mr Davila said. ‘You can look at it the way she wants to look at it, but we all have to follow the same rules.’
Following her expulsion from the competition, organizers faced much criticism with many fans saying that they were blatantly discriminatory. Over 20,000 people signed a virtual petition on Change.org calling for organizers to reverse their decision. The original decision from the Miss Universe Canada pageant sparked outrage with people calling for Jenna to be reinstated into the contest. People took to social media pages to express their disgust with one Facebook user writing on the pageant’s page: ‘Tell us what “requirements” did she not make? This reeks of discrimination…’
Miss Talackova and her lawyer had been due to hold a press conference tomorrow to discuss the issue. In a YouTube interview, Miss Talackova has said she knew she was a female at the age of four and began hormone therapy ten years later. ‘I regard myself as a woman with a history,’ she said, winking to the camera.
The only requirements stated on the Miss Universe Canada website is that to enter, women must be a Canadian citizen and between the ages of 18 and 27. The application made no mention of rules regarding sexual reassignment surgery.