Transgender beauty queen Jenna Talackova, who was unceremoniously dropped from the Miss Universe Canada competition for being born male before finally being allowed to compete, didn’t make the top five at yesterday’s competition, which took place in Toronto. The winner was Sahar Biniaz from Vancouver. Jenna walked away with a four-way tie for Miss Congeniality.
In my opinion, Jenna’s the true winner, for her pioneering civil rights efforts. Her famous lawyer, Gloria Allred, who flew from Los Angeles to Toronto to watch Jenna compete, couldn’t agree more and feels that “Canada is the gold standard as far as I’m concerned” when it comes to transgender rights. She also put pressure on Donald Trump, who heads the Miss Universe competitions, by saying, “We would like Donald Trump to be the leader in the civil rights battle and say that even if there are no laws protecting against discrimination we — the Miss Universe Organization — we are going to lead the way and say that it is wrong to discriminate.”
According to Miss Universe president Paula Shugar, “If you are legally recognized in your country and you’ve had your surgery and been through everything, you’d be able to compete in your country’s pageant."
So in other words, Miss Universe only feels the need to do the right thing in countries where it’s illegal not to.
As for her journey, which has been full of ups and downs, Jenna told reporters in Toronto this week, “You don’t get the sun without the rain. That’s how my story went.”