The transgender pageant queen defended her right to participate in the Miss Canada competition.Jenna Talackova can compete in the Miss Universe Canada pageant, as long as she's legally female, but the transgender beauty queen wants it spelled out plainly, plus a little bit more to make sure the situation doesn't happen to someone else.
The organization, owned by Donald Trump, on Monday said Talackova was back in "provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions."
Talackova had been disqualified because of a rule stating contestants must be "naturally born" females; the Vancouver, Canada, contestant was born male, self-identified as female at age 4, underwent hormone therapy starting at 14 and received gender-reassignment surgery at 19.
"I am a woman," she said Tuesday. "I was devastated and I felt that excluding me for the reason that they gave was unjust."
With attorney Gloria Allred at her side, Talackova said she'd seen the pageant's statement and found it "quite confusing."
"I wish Mr. Trump would just say, in plain words, whether or not I will be allowed to compete and, if I win, whether I will be allowed to represent Canada in the Miss Universe competition," Talackova said. "I also want Mr. Trump to clearly state that this rule will be eliminated because I do not want any other woman to suffer the discrimination that I have to endure."
Talackova presented her Canadian passport showing her gender as female. Allred noted that legal teams had been formed in L.A., New York and Canada aimed at ridding the contest of the rule.
In addition to her client's statement, Allred noted that her client never asked to see the Donald's genitals, or asked him to prove he was a naturally born male. Trump, of course, had a reply regarding his penis.
"I think Gloria would be very, very, very impressed with me," he told TMZ on Tuesday, moving on to note that based on the laws of Canada and the United States regarding gender, Talackova may compete if she wants to. "We go by the law."
However, he said, "There'll be no apology whatsoever" on Allred's behalf, "and frankly, if [Talackova] competes that's wonderful, and if she doesn't want to compete because maybe she thinks she can't win, that's wonderful. I couldn't care less."
"The Miss Universe Organization made the right decision and has taken an important first step," said Herndon Graddick, president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. "Now, GLAAD urges the Organization to include all women and use this incident to speak out in support of the transgender community." GLAAD said Tuesday that it was working with the Miss Universe organization to review current policies.
As of Wednesday morning, Talackova's picture had not yet been returned to the ranks of the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant contestants.
That's the question at the center of a heated scandal involving one Canadian pageant contestant. Jenna Talackova, 23, was born male but has identified as a female since age 4. She began hormone therapy at 14 and underwent gender reassignment surgery at 19.
On Friday, Talackova, a Vancouver resident, was booted from the Miss Universe Canada competition "because she did not meet the requirements to compete despite having stated otherwise on her entry form," the organization said in a statement. "We do, however, respect her goals, determination and wish her the best."
"Everyone has been asking me, but I saved it for this show," Talackova tells Barbara Walters. "Yes, I'm going to compete."
Talackova also says she understands people who may not have immediately warmed to the idea of her competing as a woman.
"This is why I'm sympathetic against anyone who doesn't understand because my family didn't understand," she says. "I had three older brothers, very macho, but they grew to understand and now I'm the sister they've always dreamed of."
Talackova was also extremely gracious as "The View"-sters peppered her with questions about her sexuality, like whether gender reassignment surgery was painful or if she is able to have "normal sexual relations."
"Yes I can," she says.
Meanwhile, Talackova's attorney Gloria Allred chimed in with this zinger: "Sometimes people say the most painful part of being a woman is when they cut your salary in half."
Talackova, the transgender Miss Universe Canada hopeful who was initially disqualified from the competition for not being a "naturally born female" but was told just yesterday that she would be allowed to compete if she can meet her country's "legal gender recognition requirements," is calling on Trump to scratch the whole rule.
And Allred told reporters at a news conference today that her client never asked Trump to prove he was born a man or show her his "anatomy," so "why should it have made a difference to him" how Talackova was born?
Apparently all Trump heard, however, was "Gloria Allred is talking about my penis."
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"I think Gloria Allred would be very impressed," Trump told TMZ in an interview about the Talackova controversy.
The Celebrity Apprentice host also said that, while his Miss Universe Organization reversed its earlier ban on the Canadian beauty, he has nothing to apologize for and "couldn't care less" whether Talackova competes or not.But the 23-year-old, who underwent gender reassignment surgery at 19, hasn't asked for an apology—she just hopes that things will be different from here on out.
"I am a woman," she said in a statement today. "I was devastated and I felt that excluding me for the reason that they gave was unjust. I have never asked for any special consideration. I only wanted to compete.
"I saw the statement by Mr. Trump's representative that was issued yesterday, and I find it quite confusing," she said of the Miss Universe Organization's stipulation that she was free to participate "provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions."
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She continued: "I wish Mr. Trump would just say, in plain words, whether or not I will be allowed to compete and, if I win, whether I will be allowed to represent Canada in the Miss Universe competition. I also want Mr. Trump to clearly state that this rule will be eliminated because I do not want any other woman to suffer the discrimination that I have to endure."
And it probably goes without saying that neither she nor Allred cares to check out Trump's claim of manly superiority for themselves.
"Gloria Allred's statements to the press today pay no mind to the fact that Mr. Trump and the Miss Universe Organization made the fair and just decision in allowing Jenna to compete in the Miss Universe 2012 Canada pageant," Michael D. Cohen, executive VP of the Trump Organization, tells E! News, clarifying his boss's remarks to TMZ.
"Mr. Trump and the Miss Universe Organization acted swiftly and appropriately. Pageant rules have been modernized to ensure this type of issue does not occur again. Gloria's arguments were made moot by the decision rendered yesterday. We hope Jenna will now turn her focus to preparing for the upcoming competition. Like all the contestants, Mr. Trump wishes Jenna the best of luck in her quest for the crown."