Jenna Talackova, a Canadian-born beauty queen, may now be able to take part in the Miss Universe Canada competition after being rejected from running last week.
Twenty-three-year-old Jenna Talackova was originally disqualified from the Donald Trump-organised event because she was born male. She was selected as one of 65 finalists but was dropped from the pageant and her profile and photo were stripped from the Miss Universe Canada website.
On Monday, the organisation revoked its decision according to ABC News.
In an email, Michael D. Cohen, executive vice-president and special counsel to Donald Trump, said:
“The Miss Universe Organization 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.”
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The rules on the Miss Universe website state a female entrant must be a Canadian citizen and must be between 18 and 27 years of age. It doesn’t, however, list any rules involving sexual reassignment and transgendered contestants.
In an interview, Ms. Talackova says she began hormone therapy at 14 and had her reassignment surgery at the age of 18. Her US attorney, Gloria Allred, had originally scheduled a news conference to plead for her to be allowed to compete, as well as outline the legal action that would follow if Trump’s organisation continued to ban her.
Ms. Talackova has not made a formal comment about Monday’s announcement.
Canadian lawyer Joseph Arvay, who was retained over the weekend, says he hopes the announcement will mean Ms. Talackova can compete in the pageant, but the issue is complicated.
“It's gobbledygook to me,” Mr. Arvay told the Globe and Mail.
In Canada, when talking about legal gender recognition requirements, human rights laws apply, which “prohibit discrimination based on being transgendered.”
“So one would think that she therefore meets the legal gender requirements in Canada,” said Mr. Arvay.
The Canadian lawyer says he has been given instruction to begin legal proceedings against pageant organisers on these grounds and hopes Tuesday's developments will add some clarity to the situation.
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