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Transgender Contestant Allowed To Compete For Miss Universe Canada

After disqualifying Jenna Talackova from Miss Universe Canada, the pageant has reversed its decision.

Talackova was disqualified last week because "she did not meet the requirements to compete despite having stated otherwise on her entry form."

The 23-year-old, who has been living her life as a female since age 4, started hormone therapy at age 14 and underwent gender reassignment surgery at the age of 19.

She was among the 65 finalists for the 2012 competition.

However, following the outpouring of support for Talackova, including a petition that got nearly 42,000 signatures, the organization says it "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."

GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, is obviously pleased with the overturned decision.

"The Miss Universe Organization made the right decision and has taken an important first step," says a spokesperson.

"So many women today do not have equal opportunities for employment, housing and safety simply because they are transgender. The Miss Universe Organization should look to state non-discrimination laws and institutions including the Olympics, NCAA and The CW's America's Next Top Model, which do not discriminate against transgender women."

April 3, 2012 |

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