Friday, March 30, 2012

First Ever Transsexual Candidate At Miss Universe Canada

Miss Universe Canada has officially accepted Jenna Talackova, a transsexual, as a contestant in the upcoming finals in May 19. Jenna has already represented Canada at Miss International Queen, a beauty pageant for transsexuals. The fact that she was accepted as a contestant raised several ethical and moral issues but for some it is a sign of equality. Canada is one of the progressive nations on earth with a very liberal application of its Equality Law as enshrined in its 1982 constitution.

But many pageant fans are not happy with this. They see it as an affront to the establishment since contests like the Big4 (Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International and Miss Earth) are meant for naturally born women. While we've seen lesbians competing at the state level as in the case of Miss California USA 2012, the current issue is far more controversial because this is about a person born as a man and converted himself into a woman.

Still, many see this as a sign of equality and of freedom. After all, Jenna is legally a woman. Supporters say this is about someone who pursue his or her dream and should not be discriminated against.

But suddenly, the pageant organization kick Talackova out of the contest.

On Friday, the pageant organization (Miss Universe, for anyone keeping score, is owned by Donald Trump) released a statement explaining Talackova's sudden exclusion: "She did not meet the requirements to compete despite having stated otherwise on her entry form." This, in so many words, means that, since she was born with a penis, her surgically crafted vagina can't compete with all the inherited vaginas parading around a Toronto stage.

Her image was also removed from the Miss Universe website and the pageant has said little else to justify her dismissal, despite mounting pressure from a transgender advocacy group that has recently criticized Miss Universe organizers for their sudden spinelessness.

Canadian press agency QMI reached out to Mara Keisling, the executive director of the Washington D.C.-based National Center for Transgender Equality, who said that Talackova identifies as and technically is a woman, so she should be allowed to compete. It's straightforward. They made a decision that they want to discriminate against transgender women. More and more people understand this person is a woman. There's nothing about her that should disqualify her.

But the contest rules state that contestants must be Canadian citizens and between the ages of 18 and 27. They cannot be pregnant or married, but there is no mention of any cosmetic or sex-reassignment surgery being prohibited.

According to the Vancouver Sun, Talackova doesn't plan to release a statement until next week, most likely because she's still processing how arbitrarily awful and prejudiced the world can be from one minute to the next.

Talackova pleaded with the pageant's leaders to drop the rule. She said, "I am a woman, I was devastated, and I felt that excluding me for the reason that they gave was unjust. I have never asked for any special consideration. I only wanted to compete."

At last, Donald Trump's Miss Universe contest has thrown open its doors to transgender models, allowing men who have had a sex change the chance to be crowned the world's most beautiful woman. That is the announcement stated that, the rule is expanded to include all transgender beauty into the contest.
The transgender contestants will be able to strut their stuff in the international beauty championships starting in 2013, while pioneering sex-change model Jenna Talackova will be allowed to take part this year, said gay and transgender rights organization GLAAD.

Miss Universe is "close to finalizing" the wording of the new policy but it "includes transgender women in time for the start of this fall's 2013 pageant season; a time when most of the competitions around the world begin to take place."

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