Transgender Contestant Now Allowed To Compete In Miss Universe

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A transgender beauty contestant, who had been told she could not compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada competition because she was born a man, may now have a chance to strut her stuff.

Contest organizers have given what seems like the green light to Jenna Talackova, who told reporters Tuesday she hopes it’s true.

“I am a woman,” Talackova said during a news conference in the Los Angeles office of attorney Gloria Allred. “I was devastated and I felt that excluding me for the reason that they gave was unjust.”

The 23-year-old statuesque blonde told reporters, “I had always dreamed of being in the Miss Universe competition.”

Talackova said she was thrilled to learn that pageant officials had decided Monday to allow her to take part in the pageant.

In a statement, the Miss Universe Organization said Talackova could compete “provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada and the standards established by other international competitions.”

Allred blasted the statement as “ambiguous,” and called on Miss Universe pageant owner Donald Trump to drop all restrictions and allow Talackova to compete with “no conditions and no excuses.”

Trump told “Inside Edition” he was abiding by applicable law.

“Well, it was a very complex decision and what we decided to do — and what we always do — is we go by the laws in this case of the United States, and the laws say that she should be able to compete,” he said.

The beauty queen said she expects more from Trump.

“I wish Mr. Trump would just say, in plain words, whether or not I’d be allowed to compete and, if I win, whether I’d be allowed to represent Canada in the Miss Universe competition,” Talackova said.

In previous interviews, Talackova said she knew she was a girl at age four and began hormone therapy at 14-years old. She began sexual reassignment surgery at 19-years old.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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