Canada | Transgender

In Canada, Trans Miss Universe Contestant Ejected From Competition: VIDEO

2012JennaTalackovaJenna Talackova is 23 years old and stunning -- she looks like a taller, more elfin Gwyneth Paltrow. She was born with male body parts, but says she knew she wasn't a boy by the age of four. She began hormone therapy at 14 and underwent gender reassignment surgery at 19.

In 2010 she was a finalist in Thailand's Miss International Queen, a beauty pageant for transsexuals. This year she was one of 65 Canadian Miss Universe finalists -- until the pageant's governing body found out about her past. Then the Canadian Miss Universe website disappeared from the web for several hours, and when it resurfaced it had been scrubbed of every mention of Ms. Talackova. From CTV News:

Miss Universe Canada issued a statement Friday saying Talackova "did not meet the requirements to compete despite having stated otherwise on her entry form."

"We do, however, respect her goals, determination and wish her the best," it said.

It is, however, unclear which "requirements" Ms. Talackova failed to meet. As noted at Dear Pageant Girl, the Canadian pageant website says only:

... To qualify for the 2012 competition, you must be a Canadian Citizen and at least 18 years of age and under 27 years of age by February 1st, 2012. If you meet the basic requirements, we’ll be sending you an application form to participate in a Casting or Local pageant to select the finalists for the Miss Universe® Canada pageant.

TMs. Talackova hasn't yet released a statement, though she tweeted on Friday that she has been discriminated against unjustly, and will be speaking with a lawyer.

Watch Ms. Talackova chat up a leering interviewer AFTER THE JUMP, in a two-year old vid from the Thai pageant. Ms. Talackova first appears around the 7:30 mark.


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  1. Ignoring for a second the inherent sexism of so-called "beauty pageants" it is clear that this woman is a victim of blatant trans phobia. For shame that this should happen on
    Canadian soil!

    Unfortunately Canadian law does not protect trans people from this type of discrimination, a deficiency we Canadians must work to remedy without delay.

    Posted by: Tone | Mar 24, 2012 12:41:06 PM

  2. ...well, Canadian LGBT laws *do* include transpeople - the issue i think is that this isn't an issue that's really come up yet - hence the response was a confused knee-jerk, not a logical one.

    that said, while i'm sure there are no rules about "cosmetic surgeries" - there could be. maybe should be.

    Canadian beauty pageants are such a non-event that they're not even televised anymore.

    so, i hope a good honest thorough dissection of the pageant and its policies comes out of this.

    one thing is certain, though - girl looks AMAZING! hot damn.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 24, 2012 12:47:00 PM

  3. Hi Littlekiwi I don't know that trans people in Canada do have the protection you claim, although I dearly wish they did. A federal bill spelling out those protections died in the Senate when Parliament was dissolved prior to the 2011 election that gave dear leader his slim majority. Can you provide any case law or a Supreme Court decision citing Charter protection? I don't know that the rights of trans people have evolved that far yet, which is a damned shame. I believe we are making progress though, even in dear leader's current climate of shame. Certainly there is a patchwork of differing laws by province right now.

    Posted by: Tone | Mar 24, 2012 1:04:01 PM

  4. well, that's sorta the thing - it's still on a "case by case" basis - the charter of rights and freedoms protects LGBT people - not just "gay".

    like with our LGBT-military stance , since 1992 LGBT people can serve openly in the military. i'm pretty sure that in some other countries it's only gays, not transpeople, who have this protection

    but there is indeed workplace and housing protections for transpeople, and in a few provinces reassignment-surgeries are covered by the healthcare plans, (Go OHIP!)

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 24, 2012 1:10:53 PM

  5. She looks like a boy in an over sized wig. He's not going to age well.

    Posted by: Mike | Mar 24, 2012 1:29:36 PM

  6. Mike, why are you referring to her as "he?" She has undergone both hormonal therapy and sex reassignment surgery. She is a she.

    And why don't you go ahead and post pics of yourself? We'll all critique them and let you know whether we think you're going to age well or not.

    Posted by: RyanInSacto | Mar 24, 2012 1:35:43 PM

  7. What does this have to do with gay people? Gay men do not seek to become women. Towleroad, please stop promoting stereotypes and linkages where they don't exist. Stop implying that a story of this type is of any special interest to gay people.

    Posted by: John | Mar 24, 2012 1:41:29 PM

  8. John, there are millions, if not billions, of websites for you to visit if this one does fit your particular interests. If you don't think the struggle for transgender rights is related to the struggle for gay rights, then don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya. Happy trails!

    Posted by: RyanInSacto | Mar 24, 2012 1:56:06 PM

  9. i'm a gay man who proudly stands alongside my trans brothers and sisters.

    any gay man who doesn't is a coward and deserves every ounce of anti-gay prejudice he'll ever experience in life.

    "stop promoting stereotypes"?

    Stop being a wimp who's afraid of the baseless knee-jerk responses that bigots give in reference to stereotypes. in short - grow a pair.

    the stunning thing is that this MTF transwoman, despite surgery, still has bigger orbs than the cowardly gay men who seek to belittle her.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 24, 2012 2:01:30 PM

  10. She was removed from the pageant because the pageant rules supposedly state one must be naturally born female to enter the competition. Hopefully, she sues and wins. Trans-women are women and shouldn't be discriminated in this way.

    BTW, you can LEAVE John if this is a subject matter you're uncomfortable with or unaccepting toward.

    Posted by: Francis | Mar 24, 2012 2:12:08 PM

  11. Hey Troll John: Your masters are calling- your attempt to sew division between LGBTs is a laugh. Is that the best you Koch Whores have got? Playing 'agent provocateurs' on gay blogs?


    Posted by: Mic | Mar 24, 2012 2:12:54 PM

  12. personally, dislike for these pageants aside, i don't think ANY contestants should be allowed to enter if they've had cosmetic surgeries.

    personally, i think it demeans the supposed concept when She Who Paid For The Best Rack wins.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 24, 2012 2:19:21 PM

  13. I, for one, don't mind that JOHN came trolling. Where else would I have encountered the genius that is 'linkages'?

    Posted by: Leroy Laflamme | Mar 24, 2012 2:26:18 PM

  14. RyanInSacto, I'm with you 100%!!

    It seems that so many of those in the LGBT community who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual forget it was not long ago all of us faced far more persecution, bias, discrimination etc. for simply being attracted to others of the same sex. We've come a LONG way, given its now the majority that support equal rights and the end of discrimination for the LGBT community... or at least the LGB part of it. Those in the transgender community seem to lag in gaining the same recognition as the rest of us under the LGBT umbrella.

    For me personally, it's hard to understand what a transgendered person must go through... but I wouldn't question for a second that what they feel... their gender identity not reflecting the gender of the body they were born... is anything but real.

    There will always be an ignorant, bigoted, simple-minded part of the population who will discriminate against, name call and worse- use physical means to express their inner hatred against those they don't understand. But for the life of me, to see members of our own community taking such action... even those small and thoughtless off-the-cuff comments or deliberately choosing not to use the proper pronouns. Why?

    Miss Talackova looks every bit a woman to me. I'd be willing to bet she'd be pretty convincing to most, in the absence of knowing this one detail about her. For all the guts it took for her to get this far, it sucks to an organization to make like she never did exist.

    Posted by: MICHAEL | Mar 24, 2012 2:34:24 PM

  15. My first reaction is surprise since they have nothing to gain by disqualifying her. This pageant used to be a big deal but has faded into irrelevance (and ceased being televised) as society has moved on and the pageant seems determined to remain as anachronism of 1950's thinking around womanhood.
    But isn't the discrimination in such pageants a much larger issue than just disqualifying transwomen? Anyone with a penis can't enter (that's half the population), a 30-year old is too old, anyone who's married is disqualified, a flat-chested woman would never be considered without seeing a plastic surgeon first, and butch women, dwarfs, albinos and big noses need not apply, no matter what the official rules don't say.

    Posted by: Gregv | Mar 24, 2012 2:48:57 PM

  16. Gender, like sexual orientation, is a social construct.

    Posted by: Haga | Mar 24, 2012 2:59:03 PM

  17. Well remember Tyler McCormick, he was met with hostility in the leather community for running and winning IML as he is a transitioned female to male. But he ran, won and represented amazingly throughout hit year!
    I hope she gets media attention, and the chance to represent as she deserves!

    Posted by: jayson | Mar 24, 2012 3:51:35 PM

  18. I really like her response "I'm a woman with a history" as opposed to transwoman or transgender. She has absolutely no shame or embarrassment about that past either. Let's hope she is the catalyst in getting that outdated pageant rule thrown away...or are they afraid "women with histories" would be too fierce and unfair competition? :-)

    Posted by: Paul in Charleston | Mar 24, 2012 4:00:35 PM

  19. Shockingly, I agree with Kiwi about the cosmetic surgery thing as my opinion. However, these are privately owned businesses which conduct these pageants and there are all kinds of pageants, some more narrowly defined than others. There are black beauty pageants which make an overt effort to include a broader range of body shapes, there are plus size pageants, there are drag pageants, leather pageants, etc... One simply does not have a right to participate in a contest simply because he wants to.

    We, the gay community have fought long and hard for the rights of life and property. We have claimed neighborhoods as our own, and built some here in Florida from the ground up. We have our own bars, clubs, resorts, apartment houses which while they rarely turn away others make it quite clear what their preference is.

    We need to respect the private property and freedom of association of other people as well. Sometimes, you get your feeling hurt.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Mar 24, 2012 4:11:50 PM

  20. I believe it has been read into the canadian charter of human rights that trans people are included but it seems to be a big grey area. It is not explicitly protected like sexual orientation.

    Posted by: Luke | Mar 24, 2012 4:25:33 PM

  21. The thing is that probably when entering the contest they ask you if you have ANY surgery performed that modified her external appearance. So, WHY A TRANS should be allowed to jump over that rule while CIS women CAN’T? Should they set a rule that says: OK, it is ok for TRANS women to have as many surgeries as they want or like, but CIS can’t have any. Or should they allow EVERYONE have surgeries, making the contest being about the best surgeries available in the market and the most costly ones, instead of “inherited beauty”.
    Anyway, beauty contests are silly. I don’t care what they do.

    Posted by: SayTheTruth | Mar 24, 2012 4:53:00 PM

  22. I believe Miss Universe bans transexuals from competing so they may have handed down this decision to the Canadian franchise holder. If she had (or did in case she is reinstated) won, she may not be allowed to compete in Miss Universe. Some European countries have this problem because they allow contestants who are younger than Miss Universe accepts.

    I would think that Donald Trump (he part owns Miss Universe) would want her to compete for all the free publicity he could generate for the pageant telecast.

    Personally, I think she should be allowed to compete in Canada and in the international pageant if she wins the chance to represent Canada.

    Now, on to Mr Gay World in a couple of weeks. Canada has a wonderful contestant there.

    Posted by: VC c/o 94 | Mar 24, 2012 5:07:21 PM

  23. A little bit off message ; .....but she is beautiful !

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Mar 24, 2012 5:33:46 PM

  24. I agree that this woman looks incredible, and if I ran the pagaent I'd have no problem with her entering.

    But when I read this headline my first thought was "They think they have problems now? Wait till Little Kiwi hears about this!" I mean, a flood of emails with "werk" at the end of them (and I still don't know what they heck that means.), multiple requests to post their URL, accusations of being closeted transvesties, questions about whether Mommy or Daddy accept who they are.

    Those pagaent owners don't know what trouble they asked for. I can imagine them offering to actually INVITE transgendered people to compete in the pagaent if someone could just get Little Kiwi back on the Towleroad!

    (......Just kidding, Kiwi, my man. Now you can tell me to off myself again!)

    Posted by: Mary | Mar 24, 2012 7:39:19 PM

  25. She's lovely. Best of luck in this fight!

    Posted by: zeddy | Mar 24, 2012 7:49:53 PM

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