Canadian transgender wins a title in contest
TORONTO - Reuters
Talackova shared the title of Miss Congeniality with three other contestants. REUTERS photoA transgender Canadian beauty contestant who was initially disqualified from taking part in the Miss Universe Canada pageant because she was not a “naturally born female” failed to win the crown but was awarded the title of Miss Congeniality.
Jenna Talackova, a tall blonde who underwent gender-reassignment surgery at age 19 and holds legal documents affirming her identity as a woman, made it into the top 12 in the Miss Universe Canada pageant on Saturday night in Toronto.
She shared the title of Miss Congeniality with three other women voted on by their fellow contestants.
The winner of the overall competition and the new Miss Universe Canada was Sahar Biniaz, 26, of Vancouver, who will represent Canada in the international Miss Universe pageant in December, according to the Miss Universe Canada website.
Talackova, 23, was kicked out of the Miss Universe Canada competition in March after she was selected as one of 65 finalists.
Her disqualification sparked commentary on the Internet and cable television news shows about the boundaries of gender identification, civil liberties and the rights of private organizations to set their own rules.
After some public back-and-forth with Donald Trump, whose Trump Organization owns the contest, competition officials agreed to let her compete.
The Miss Universe pageant also later said it would change its rules to allow transgender women to take part in all of its competitions starting in 2013.