Transgender Miss Universe Contestant May Be Allowed To Compete After All

Last month, 23-year-old Jenna Talackova was disqualified from entering Miss Universe Canada after it was revealed that she was born a male and had undergone gender reassignment four years ago. Now, the Associated Press is reporting that the Miss Universe Organization might reverse the decision and allow Talackova to enter the pageant in May.

According to the Miss Universe Organization’s rules, participants must be “naturally born” females. But the organization also issued a confusing statement on its Miss Universe Canada website yesterday:

“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.”

At a press conference in Los Angeles this afternoon, Talackova’s lawyer Gloria Allred slammed the pageant organization and its owner Donald Trump:

“Jenna entered this competition and gave the pageant her time, her best efforts and her money. She did not think for one moment that what she might have looked like at birth would be relevant. She did not ask Mr. Trump to prove that he is a naturally-born man, or to see the photos of his birth, to view his anatomy, to prove that he was male. It made no difference to her. Why should it have made a difference to him?”

A complaint will also be filed with the Ontario Human Rights Commission since the “naturally born” pageant requirement goes against Canada’s human rights law. A final decision could take a while, but we’re clearly on Team Talackova.

[Associated Press, People]

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