The Miss Universe Organisation has reversed an earlier decision and allowed transgender model Jenna Talackaova to enter the Miss Universe Canada pageant. It is, in fact, also working with Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) to update its policies on such issues, reported E!Online.
Jenna Talackova, 23, was born male, leading organisers to disqualify her last month as a finalist in the 61st Miss Universe Canada pageant in May.
Transgender model Jenna Talackova
The rules of the contest run by Donald Trump's New York City-based organisation say entrants must be "naturally born" females. Talackova underwent a sex change four years ago.
But shortly after Talackova had announced a news conference in Los Angeles, the Miss Universe Organisation had said in a statement that Talackova can compete "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.
Although the organisers described Talackova as a “real girl” they disqualified her arguing that the rules state that each contestant must be a “naturally born female.”
According to Denis Davila, the national director of Miss Universe Canada, Talackova claimed on her registration form she was born a female. But becoming suspicious he confronted the 23-year-old about her sex change and the contestant admitted she was actually born a male.
Despite her pleas to stay in the pageant, her confession meant that she had been pulled from the contest that same day.
“She feels like a real girl and she is a real girl. She didn’t expect people to question it,” the Daily Mail quoted Davila as telling thestar.com.
“She was hoping we could put her back in the competition, but the rules are very clear and there’s no way we can go back on it,” Davila had said earlier.
The decision from the Miss Universe Canada pageant had sparked quite an outrage with people calling for Jenna to be reinstated into the contest.
In a YouTube interview Talackova says she knew she was a female at the age of four and began hormone therapy ten years later.
The 23-year-old beauty queen, who has competed in Miss Universe pageants and transgendered pageants before, says that she surgically changed her gender aged 19.
“I regard myself as a woman with a history,” Talackova had said, winking to the camera.