After hiring Gloria Allred as her attorney in the decision by the Trump-organization to disqualify Jenna from the Miss Universe Beauty Pageant, they suddenly had a change of heart and are now reinstating her as a contestant. Citing in a brief statement posted on the Miss Universe Canada website, “organizers said Talackova can compete in the 2012 competition “provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions.”
Marie Little, chair of Vancouver’s Trans Alliance Society, said Canada legally recognizes transgender women as women after they undergo surgery, are certified by their doctor, and complete proper documentation.
'That’s what counts. They’re legally women,' she said.
Little said the pageant rules specifying contestants should be a “naturally born female was poorly worded.”
I see this as a victory because thanks to online petitions, voices in objection to Trump’s previous ruling and the backing of attorney, Gloria Allred, this unjust decision has been overturned. However, I also see some hurdles that will still need to be jumped for future contestants. 1) requiring surgery 2) the view that “what counts is that one is legally a woman” and 3) what measures beauty?
Please read the commentary below. Although I’m not a pageant-type-of-a-person, (I know just the word “pageant” and the judging “categories” could spin off a whole new blog) I still believe in Jenna’s right to compete. The Miss Universe contest is stating that since she wasn’t “born female” (- ahem - there are a lot of different aspects that fall under “female” - not just what’s between a person’s legs at birth) she can’t compete. So, uh, with their definition of female, I was then born assigned female (nobody asked me) so does that mean I qualify? My snarkiness aside, read this post, sign the petition and let’s see these archaic policies change.
This is Jenna Talackova. Please read about her story and support her. Stand up against Transphobia, and hold Donald Trump accountable for this crime!
Jenna Talackova’s profile was visible on the official contestants page of the Donald Trump-owned Miss Universe Canada beauty pageant just a few days ago. Now, her profile has disappeared without a trace. Is it a coincidence that she was their only transsexual finalist?
Talackova, who is from Vancouver, was born male. She realized she was actually female when she was four years-old, began hormone therapy when she was 14, and had sex reassignment surgery in 2010.
Talackova is open about her past, having described all this herself, such as in this video — try to ignore the offensive interviewer — from when she represented Canada in Thailand’s Miss International Queen, a pageant for transgendered women, in which she was a Top 10 finalist.
As early as March 13, blogs were reporting Talackova’s inclusion on the Miss Universe Canada’s finalists page. What wonderful progress for LGBT beauty pageant contestants!
Except, the response from “beauty pageant purists” — transphobic commentators — is suspected to have caused Talackova’s profile’s vanishing act.
There has been no response from Miss Universe Canada or Miss Talackova as of yet.
Obviously, many take issue with even the possibility that Talackova compete in the pageant, because she was not born a woman. Critics argue that Miss Universe (and for that matter, Miss International, Miss World and Miss Earth) is a competition for “naturally born women” only.
But, as Talackova said in the above linked interview, “I regard myself as a woman—with a history.” Talackova was born a woman, like all transgendered women. And like all transgendered women, it’s just that her body didn’t reflect that.
There are no recorded rules that require Miss Universe contestants to have been born biologically female. And anyone who believes that the rest of the Miss Universe finalists are bastions of natural beauty needs to do some googling with the term “plastic surgery.”
A rose is a rose is a rose. A beautiful woman is a beautiful woman is a beautiful woman.
The 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant will be held on May 19.
Get her name and story known! Don’t stand by; this is a human’s rights issue!
Reblog this, even if it doesn’t ‘go with’ your blog!
Sign the petition here!