April 04, 2012

Transgendered Native in Miss Universe pageant

Aboriginal Transgender Miss Universe Canada Contestant Jenna Talackova Fights Disqualification—And WinsLake Babine First Nation member Jenna Talackova was born male. Four years ago, though, she underwent a sex change operation. Today she is a 23-year-old woman striking enough to make it into the Canadian Miss Universe Pageant.

Enter Donald Trump, whose pageant has disqualified her for being formerly male. The decision came down shortly after it was revealed that Talackova was transgender. Talackova, selected from among 65 finalists for the May competition to be held in Toronto, has refused to back down.

“I’m disqualified, however I’m not giving up,” she tweeted after getting the news. “I’m not going to just let them disqualify me over discrimination.”

She and attorney Gloria Allred, known for taking on high-profile cases, held a press conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

“Jenna entered this competition and gave the pageant her time, her best efforts and her money,” Allred said at the press conference, Talackova at her side, as TMZ reported. “She did not think for one moment that what she 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 he was male. It made no difference to her. Why should it have made a difference to him?”
Trump wishes transgender luck in Canada pageant

By Robert JablonA boy who became a girl got her wish to compete for title of hottest woman on the planet after Donald Trump said she could compete for Canada's spot in the Miss Universe pageant.

Trump, who runs the Miss Universe Organization, issued a statement Tuesday wishing Jenna Talackova "the best of luck in her quest for the crown." The statement came the same day that Talackova and her attorney Gloria Allred urged the organization to clarify its gender requirements.

The organization said it actually made the decision Monday to let the 23-year-old Talackova compete in the 2012 competition to become Canada's contestant.

The organization said Talackova could enter the pageant "provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions." No further details were provided.
And more from a couple of days later:

Jenna Talackova on 20/20 Tonight, April 6“I am a woman,” she said in a statement. “I was devastated and I felt that excluding me for the reason that they gave was unjust.”

Now Talackova has not only won the right to compete but also seems to have reversed the rule, as she wanted: Miss Universe pageant owner Donald Trump has rescinded the clause saying that contestants must be a “natural-born female.”

“I feel like the universe, the Creator, just put me in this position as an advocate, and now it’s like this, and I’ll take that position,” Talackova told broadcast journalist Barbara Walters in an interview for ABC’s 20/20. “If it’s helping anybody else, my story and my actions, then I feel great about it.”

It’s not clear whether she will compete, even though she has been given the go-ahead. As of April 6 her photos still were not in the gallery of finalists on the Miss Universe Canada web page.
Comment:  For more on transgendered Natives, see Two Spirits Is "Thoughtful, Intelligent" and Miss Indian Transgender Pageant.

Below:  Jenna Talackova and Barbara Walters.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Donald's saying she can be let back in.

I don't know if she has a chance. Transwomen are generally not likely to get anywhere in a contest about objectification of women.