Miss Universe Welcomes Transgender Contestants After Jenna Talackova Case
Jenna Talackova has caused the Miss Universe organization to change their rules so that she can compete, after a saga that made the already outdated looking competition seem positively geriatric. It was widely reported that Talackova, 23, had been kicked out off Miss Universe Canada after it was discovered that she'd had a sex change when 19 years old thus violating the rules of the competition that stated contestants must be "naturally born female."
However, Talackova hasn't exactly hidden that fact at any point since her change, even competing in previous beauty pageants. Following her elimination there was an out cry from many who felt that it smacked of prejudice and, after consideration, Miss Universe, owned by Donald Trump, has relented and changed the rules. Consulting the Gay And Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, they "discussed a policy change that includes transgender women in time for the start of this fall's 2013 pageant season; a time when most of the competitions around the world begin to take place."
"We have a long history of supporting equality for all women and this was something we took very seriously," said Paula Shugart, President of the Miss Universe Organization, according to The National Post. It brings the competition into line with other events including the Olympics, the Girl Scouts of America and TV show 'America's Next Top Model.'