WATCH: Transgender Miss Universe Contestant Talks To Barbara Walters

Jenna Talackova, the Miss Universe Canada contestant that was disqualified due to her transgender status and subsequently reinstated after much media and legal backlash, appeared on ABC‘s 20/20 last night.

In her first interview since being booted from the pageant, Talackova sat down with Barbara Walters to talk about growing up as a boy named Walter, undergoing hormone therapy, and sexual reassignment surgery:

“It was terribly painful, but seeing something on your body for that long and not being able to look at myself in the mirror because I couldn’t stand seeing the other part, it was actually very rewarding, too.”

Her mother, Myrtle Perry, and lawyer, Gloria Allred, were also interviewed for the program. Said Allred:

“What happened to Jenna is very, very important. The Miss Universe competition had the rule that a contestant had to be a naturally born female. That is a rule that is blatantly discriminatory. I am so proud of Jenna because she has fought to eliminate this rule.”

Talackova is embracing her new role as an advocate for transgender rights:

“If it’s helping anybody else – my story and my actions – then I feel great about it.”

Watch the full clip below:


[ABC]

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