Jenna Talackova can compete in Miss Universe Canada, but will she?
Jenna Talackova can compete in the Miss Universe Canada pageant, as long as she's legally female, but the transgender beauty queen wants it spelled out plainly, plus a little bit more to make sure the situation doesn't happen to someone else.
The organization, owned by Donald Trump, on Monday said Talackova was back in "provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions."
Talackova had been disqualified because of a rule stating contestants must be "naturally born" females; the Vancouver, Canada, contestant was born male, self-identified as female at age 4, underwent hormone therapy starting at 14 and received gender-reassignment surgery at 19.
"I am a woman," she said Tuesday. "I was devastated and I felt that excluding me for the reason that they gave was unjust."
With attorney Gloria Allred at her side, Talackova said she'd seen the pageant's statement and found it "quite confusing."
"I wish Mr. Trump would just say, in plain words, whether or not I will be allowed to compete and, if I win, whether I will be allowed to represent Canada in the Miss Universe competition," Talackova said. "I also want Mr. Trump to clearly state that this rule will be eliminated because I do not want any other woman to suffer the discrimination that I have to endure."
Talackova presented her Canadian passport showing her gender as female. Allred noted that legal teams had been formed in L.A., New York and Canada aimed at ridding the contest of the rule.
In addition to her client's statement, Allred noted that her client never asked to see the Donald's genitals, or asked him to prove he was a naturally born male. Trump, of course, had a reply regarding his penis.
"I think Gloria would be very, very, very impressed with me," he told TMZ on Tuesday, moving on to note that based on the laws of Canada and the United States regarding gender, Talackova may compete if she wants to. "We go by the law."
However, he said, "There'll be no apology whatsoever" on Allred's behalf, "and frankly, if [Talackova] competes that's wonderful, and if she doesn't want to compete because maybe she thinks she can't win, that's wonderful. I couldn't care less."
"The Miss Universe Organization made the right decision and has taken an important first step," said Herndon Graddick, president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. "Now, GLAAD urges the Organization to include all women and use this incident to speak out in support of the transgender community." GLAAD said Tuesday that it was working with the Miss Universe organization to review current policies.
As of Wednesday morning, Talackova's picture had not yet been returned to the ranks of the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant contestants.
Photo: Jenna Talackova at a press conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Talackova appeared with attorney Gloria Allred. Credit: Frederic J. Brown / AFP / Getty Images