Jenna Talackova has got her window, but is she taking it? The woman who was born a boy was recently barred from competing in the Miss Universe Canada pageant because of the clear and univocal rule that the participants must be “naturally born females.” Jenna claimed to be a naturally born female on her form, but when the truth came out, she was barred from the competition. Now, after much media attention, Trump, the pageants owner, has allowed Jenna to compete, wishing her luck.
Talackova, a 23-year old Vancouver resident, was born male, decided at age 4 she was female, at age 14 began hormone therapy, and had the physical surgery of the sex exchange before she was 20.
Talackova has not said whether she would rejoin the competition. She and her lawyer have been making incendiary denouncements of Trump without yet rejoining the pageant.
“Mr. Trump’s statement fails to state that the rule that only naturally-born women will be allowed to compete will be eliminated,” her lawyer, Gloria Allred, said. “Otherwise, we are considering all of Jenna’s legal options.
In a more disputatious tone, Allred also said, “We are asking Mr. Trump to step up and be a leader in the fight against discrimination, or would he prefer to hide behind other organizations and say that if they discriminate so can he?” she asked in reference to the common rule of such pageants that the girls must be naturally born female, as with the Miss U.S. International competition.
She also said that Talackova, “did not think for one moment that what she might have looked like at birth would be relevant,” despite claiming to be female at birth on the form. Her lawyer tastefully added, “She did not ask Mr. Trump to prove that he is a naturally-born man, or to see the photos of his birth, to view his anatomy, to prove he was male. It made no difference to her. Why should it have made a difference to him?” Such rhetorical banter neither criticized the legitimacy of rules regarding a gendered competition, nor responded to Trump’s allowance of Talackova to compete.
The pageant organizers have wondered wither Talackova has a chip on her shoulder, or actually wants to compete, saying, “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.”
They are also re-evaluation their rules regarding this sort of situation.