Miss Universe Jenna Talackova Gets Disqualified From Competition

As far as Miss Universe Canada is concerned, it seems the “Miss” part of the competition has to start at birth — particularly for ousted contestant Jenna Talackova, who was born male and who said she self-identified as female at age 4 and underwent gender reassignment surgery at 19.

“Jenna Talackova from Vancouver, British Columbia, will not compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada competition because she did not meet the requirements to compete despite having stated otherwise on her entry form,” the pageant organization said Friday in a statement. “We do, however, respect her goals, determination and wish her the best.”

Miss Universe Canada, which is owned by Donald Trump and feeds its winner into the Miss Universe pageant, selected Talackova to be one of its 65 finalists for the 2012 competition, which will see its crown awarded May 19 in Toronto. Eligibility requirements for various feeders into the Miss Universe system indicate that a contestant must be female and never have been married or pregnant. The rules for Miss California, which feeds into Miss USA and then into Miss Universe, include the broad requirement that contestants “must be of good health and moral character.”

Talackova, 23, declined to be interviewed last week by a Canadian news outlet, saying she first had to consult with her lawyer. However, on her now-private Twitter account, she reportedly wrote, “I’m disqualified, however I’m not giving up. I’m not going to just let them disqualify me over discrimination.”

Asked in 2010 whether she regarded herself as a transgender or as a woman, a winking Talackova replied, “I regard myself as a woman — with a history.”

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