Previously disqualified contestant, Jenna Talakova, will be allowed back into the international pageant according to a statement released late last night by the Miss Universe Organization.
In the statement, the Miss Universe Organization said Ms. Talackova can compete, provided “she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions.” The statement, however, did not elaborate on what the requirements were.
Ms. Talackova was one of 65 finalists selected to compete for the title of Miss Universe Canada, with the ultimate goal of representing her country in the international Miss Universe pageant.
But having been accused of lying about having had sexual reassignment surgery, the pageant authorities told her did not meet requirements for the pageant. One of those requirements was supposedly, “being a naturally born female.”
As Jos reported last week, Ms. Talackova’s trans status wasn’t something she hid. She took place in Miss International Queen, a trans beauty pageant in Thailand. But the blogosphere started discussing her gender history a few weeks ago, which led to her disqualification:
National director of Miss Universe Canada Denis Davila told the Toronto Star that while they consider Talackova to be a “real girl,” Miss Universe rules stipulate that contestants must be a “naturally born female.”
Now, I’m no supporter of Donald Trump (who owns the Miss Universe pageant), and I’m not really a supporter of beauty pageants (though I think they are complicated), but I firmly believe that spaces for women should be spaces for all women, including trans women. I’ll take it one step further — if she decides to re-enter the pageant after all this, I really hope Jenna Talackova wins.