Transgender Model Jenna Talackova Claims Discrimination Following Canada Miss Universe Disqualification
A transgender Canadian model is claiming discrimination after being disqualified from the Canada Miss Universe pageant.
Agence France-Presse reports that 23-year-old Jenna Talackova of Vancouver has accused organizers of the Canada Miss Universe pageant of discrimination after she was cut from the competition because “she did not meet the requirements to compete despite having stated otherwise on her entry form.” No further details were provided by The Beauties of Canada Organization, which organizes the event. Beauties of Canada claims exclusive rights to send contestants to the Miss Universe Pageant, wich is produced by real estate tycoon Donald Trump and NBC Universal.
Talackova, who was born male but underwent sex reassignment surgery four years ago, was one of 65 finalists for the 2012 pageant.
Denis Davila, national director of Miss Universe Canada, denied discriminating against Talackova.
“We have to have the facts straight. There is no discrimination here at all,” he told CTV News. “You can look at it the way she wants to look at it … but we all have to follow the same rules.”
“It’s really unfortunate that we had to pull her out of the competition … But the truth of the matter is that we have a set of rules that we must enforce,” Davila added. “We love Jenna. We embrace diversity. In Miss Universe Canada, we are all from different walks of life.”
Talackova says she is not giving up her dream of competing in Miss Universe. According to Yahoo! News Canada, she is calling her plight a “human rights issue.”
“I will look to turn this situation into a positive so that other people in a similar situation are not discriminated against in the future,” Talackova told CTV.
Moral Low Ground believes that Canada Miss Universe needs to better educate itself on gender identity issues. Talackova, who has self-identified as female since the age of four, is a woman. By stipulating that contestants must be “natural born females,” the organization is indeed discriminating against transgender women, whose ultimate goal is full female integration into society.
Jillian Page, a vocal advocate for transgender rights and a transwoman herself, has launched a petition demanding that Miss Universe reinstate Talackova into the pageant. So far, more than 31,000 people have signed it.
“There are no asterisks beside the gender designation on our birth certificates: mine says female. It doesn’t say ‘transgender,’ it doesn’t say ‘transsexual.’ It says female. Period!” Page wrote.
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