Miss Universe transgender contestant Jenna Talackova may be allowed to compete after all. The Miss Universe Canada contestant was abruptly disqualified from the competition last week when pageant organizers discovered Jenna Talackova was born male and lied on her application about her transgender status.
Jenna Talackova, 23, was born male but claims she has identified as a female since the age of 4. She began undergoing hormone therapy at age 14 and had gender reassignment surgery at 19. In her application to the Miss Universe pageant, Talackova stated she was born a female. Miss Universe Organization staff became suspicious of Talackova and removed her from the competition after discovering she had lied about her birth gender.
In a reversal of the previous decision to boot Miss Universe Canada contestant Jenna Talackova from the competition, the Miss Universe Organization, owned by Celebrity Apprentice star Donald Trump, has decided they may allow her to compete after all. If, that is, she “meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions.
The statement released by Miss Universe Organization vice president Michael D. Cohen followed an announcement by Jenna Talackova and her celebrity attorney, Gloria Allred, of a scheduled press conference on Tuesday.
In a press release about the event, Gloria Allred stated she would be discussing “why Jenna should be permitted to compete” and what actions she planned to take on her client’s behalf “if the Miss Universe Pageant refuses to change its discriminatory rule.”
A source reportedly told People the Miss Universe Organization plans to extend a waiver to current rules for Jenna Talackova if she chooses to return to compete and are “working on full inclusion for future contestants for 2013.” So far, neither Talackova or Allred have released any new information since the latest announcement from the Miss Universe Organization.