Miss Universe opens way for trans contestant Jenna Talackova to rejoin pageant
The New York-based Miss Universe organization has reversed its original decision to disqualify a 23-year-old transsexual woman from the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant.
“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,” according to a statement on the organization’s website today (April 2).
The reversal comes amid a firestorm of controversy over the initial exclusion. A petition seeking the reversal of the decision easily topped 40,000 signatures last week when the news was announced that Talackova was disqualified on gender grounds.
Addressed to the Miss Universe Canada contest and Donald Trump, who jointly owns the Miss Universe Organization with NBC Universal, the petition called the initial removal “discriminatory, unjust, and quite frankly disgusting”.
The petition stated: “She is a woman and deserves to be treated as any other woman would be. What kind of genitals she was or was not born with (and even what kind of genitals she has today) is completely irrelevant. This petition is to get her reinstated as a contestant, since she was unfairly disqualified.”
The 61st annual Miss Universe Canada Pageant will be held at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, in the Bluma Appel Theatre in Toronto. In all, 65 delegates from across Canada will be in Toronto from May 11 to 20 and will compete for the title of Miss Universe Canada 2012, awarded on Saturday, May 19.
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