Jenna Talackova, the Miss Universe Canada contestant who was disqualified from the pageant because she is transgender, held a press conference last week with her lawyer Gloria Allred.
The organizers decision caused outrage in both Canada and the United States, but as soon as Talackova and her lawyer announced that they would be holding a conference, the organizers of the pageant reversed their decision.
“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,” Michael D. Cohen, executive vice president and special counsel to Donald Trump, who owns the competition, said in an e-mailed statement.
Speaking at the press conference, Talackova’s attorney suggested that her client was considering suing the organizers of the competition.
“Jenna entered this competition and gave the pageant her time, her best efforts and her money,” Allred said. “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?”
Allred explained that pageant organizers choice to reverse their decision didn’t go far enough and fails to state that the rule about naturally born women will be eliminated. “We are considering all of Jenna’s legal options.” Allred added.
Talackova, 23, was born male but has first identified as female since the age of 4, according to People Magazine. She began hormone therapy at 14 before having gender reassignment surgery when she was 19.
Should a transexual be allowed to compete in beauty pageants?