Transgender beauty queen Jenna Talackova urges Donald Trump to drop Miss Universe rule requiring contestants to be ‘naturally born’ women.
‘I do not want any other woman to suffer the discrimination that I have endured’
The transgender beauty queen who wants to be Miss Universe urged Donald Trump to go all the way Tuesday and definitively drop a rule requiring contestants to be “naturally born” women.
Jenna Talackova, 23, and her lawyer Gloria Allred said such a move would help clarify her confusing situation and help cement the mogul’s status as a leader in the fight against discrimination.
“I do not want any other woman to suffer the discrimination that I have endured,” Talackova told reporters at Allred’s office Tuesday.
Talackova, wearing a pink sweater and long blond curls, and Allred jointly held up a copy of her passport, which lists her as female.
“I am a woman,” Talackova said. “I was devastated (when I was disqualified), 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.”
The Vancouver model was born male but had a sex change operation four years ago.
Her sex change led organizers in Canada to disqualify her from the 61st Miss Universe Canada pageant in May citing a rule that only “naturally born” females can compete.
Trump’s New York-based Miss Universe Organization took fire for the disqualification and seemed to back-peddle late Monday.
The parent group said Talackova would be allowed to compete “provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions.”
Allred blasted the statement as confusing and urged Trump to clearly state Talackova was welcome to compete.
“Jenna entered this competition and gave the pageant her time, her best efforts and her money. She did not think for one moment that what she might have looked like at birth would be relevant,” Allred said.
“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 implied Talackova was considering suing the pageant.
“Mr. Trump’s statement fails to state that the rule that only naturally-born women will be allowed to compete will be eliminated,” Allred said. “Otherwise, we are considering all of Jenna’s legal options.”