Transgendered beauty queen should compete for Miss Canada Universe
Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 9, 2012 23:04
The Miss Canada 2012 competition is off to a rocky start after disqualifying and then readmitting a transgendered contestant into the pageant.
Jenna Talackova, a transgendered woman from British Columbia, was disqualified from the contest because she failed to “meet the requirements to compete despite having stated otherwise on her entry form.”
One of Miss Talackova’s lawyers, Joe Arvay, argues that the pageant’s “natural-born” requirement is “not allowable under Canadian human rights legislation.”
The complication is that Talackova’s birth certificate, passport and driver’s license have all been accepted to project that she is legally a woman. She says she knew she was male at the age of 4, began hormone therapy at age 14 and received gender reassignment surgery at the age of 19 to make her “physically” female.
Many women have argued that Talackova should be barred from the competition because she had “large” amounts of plastic surgery to make her more feminine in appearance, though some of the most beautiful women in world have gone under the knife. Megan Fox, anyone?
After being eliminated from the contest, Talackova told the Vancouver Sun that her elimination “doesn’t make sense because I was conscious I always felt this way. I am a woman.”
Yesterday the blonde beauty graciously answered a series of questions from the ladies of The View, candidly admitting that she is able to have “normal” sexual relations and that she has a boyfriend who is “supportive.” She also expressed sympathy towards those who cannot understand her situation.
“My family didn’t understand,” Talackova said. “I had three older brothers, very macho, but they grew to understand and now I’m the sister they’ve always dreamed of.”
Amidst a sea of past beauty queen scandals, Talackova appears to be a noble, kind-hearted woman. In past years Donald Trump, the pageant’s owner, has forgiven many contestants in his various pageants for “inappropriate conduct,” such as admissions to underage drinking and topless photos scattered across the internet. Talackova has no previous involvement in any sort of reckless behavior.
Despite her clean record, the stigmas against transgendered people remain shocking. In New York, it is still legal to fire someone based on the discovery that the employee is transgendered.
It doesn’t help that “respected” figures of society like Rick Santorum believe that transgendered issues and discussion will “have a devastating impact on our children” as an “implementation of gay marriage,” as though the two issues are related.
Earlier this year, Girl Scouts took a positive stance and accepted a transgendered girl despite backlash and “cookie boycotts,” which aimed to revoke the decision to admit the child who “has boy parts.”
The women involved in the aforementioned scandals are not “wrong” in their transgressions, but they were neither penalized for something that demoralized an entire organization that claims to be “pro-woman.” Talackova simply wants a fair chance at succeeding; transgendered women cannot compete in a beauty competition in which the “natural-born” women take for granted, abusing their limitations just because “they can.”
This same “pro-woman” organization also disallows contestants to have children or have given birth, to be married or to have been formerly married. Whoever is crowned Miss Universe also must remain single throughout the duration of her term.
Since allowing Talackova to re-enter the pageant, Trump says the organization will “probably decide to open [the rules] up,” allowing transgendered contestants from every country to compete, since the rules were “broken” for Talackova.
The Miss Canada Universe pageant will be held on May 19. Talackova will strut her slim, 6’1” frame across the coveted stage in hopes of fulfilling a dream similar to that of most girls: the dream of being crowned queen.