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Miss Universe Canada pulls contestant Jenna Talackova off website... for being transgendered?

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Photo from Jenna Talackova's Miss Universe Canada profile before it was pulled.

Jenna Talackova's profile was visible on the official contestants page of the Donald Trump-owned Miss Universe Canada beauty pageant just a few days ago. Now, her profile has disappeared without a trace. Is it a coincidence that she was their only transgendered finalist?

Talackova, who is from Vancouver, was born male. She realized she was actually female when she was four years-old, began hormone therapy when she was 14, and had sex reassignment surgery in 2010.

Talackova is open about her past, having described all this herself, such as in this video — try to ignore the offensive interviewer — from when she represented Canada in Thailand's Miss International Queen, a pageant for transgendered women, in which she was a Top 10 finalist.

As early as March 13, blogs were reporting Talackova's inclusion on the Miss Universe Canada's finalists page. What wonderful progress for LGBT beauty pageant contestants!

Except, the response from "beauty pageant purists" — transphobic commentators — is suspected to have caused Talackova's profile's vanishing act.

There has been no response from Miss Universe Canada or Miss Talackova as of yet.

Obviously, many take issue with even the possibility that Talackova compete in the pageant, because she was not born a woman. Critics argue that Miss Universe (and for that matter, Miss International, Miss World and Miss Earth) is a competition for "naturally born women" only.

But, as Talackova said in the above linked interview, "I regard myself as a woman—with a history." Talackova was born a woman, like all transgendered women. And like all transgendered women, it's just that her body didn't reflect that.

There are no recorded rules that require Miss Universe contestants to have been born biologically female. And anyone who believes that the rest of the Miss Universe finalists are bastions of natural beauty needs to do some googling with the term "plastic surgery."

A rose is a rose is a rose. A beautiful woman is a beautiful woman is a beautiful woman.

The 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant will be held on May 19.

(22) Comments

flow in March 22nd 2012 | 5:17 PM

Nice article.

i espesically like the closing comments. it is great that this woman is recognised as such.


my only gripe is that the word "transgendered" is used to refer to her. She is not transgendered. that is a term that applies to a range of gender variant people who have no desire to change their genitalia. She is Transsexual. she has nothing in common with men who like to play dress ups and pretend to be female in order to satisfy gender identity and gender expression issues.


she is quite simply a woman who was born with the wrong bits. she was lucky or determined enough to get something done about it before puberty could destroy her body. Good on her. I hope that enough people make a fuss that she can get back into the competition.

Denise Holliday March 22nd 2012 | 6:18 PM

I am wondering how they can dismiss her from this competition when she is exactly what she claims she is. A female and a very good looking one at that. I hope that she is allowed to compete, even if this advertising is negative to her chances. She deserves to be allowed to continue in the competition.

Good luck my dear young lady.

Liz Church March 22nd 2012 | 10:22 PM

There is no such word as "transgendered" as there is no verb "to transgender" fro which to derive it.

The adjective "transgender" is an umbrella term that covers individuals who do not identify with their birth-assigned gender and the role they are expected to fulfil.

 

"Transsexual" is a medical term, an adjective and not a noun, used to describe an individual who is assigned the wrong gender at birth and at some later stage wishes to correct this by various transitional processes. Such a person will cease to be transsexual once the process of transition is complete.

No-one is "born a woman". People are born babies.

I just googled the other contestants and think she would win. If the girlscouts can accept trans kids what's up with Canada? She's a woman and she is beautiful.

BiancaPencz March 23rd 2012 | 2:14 PM

To clear up discussion on the terminology, you can find many people in the transgender community who refer to themselves as "transgendered" as if it is a verb (e.g. iamtransgendered.com). You can find many others who say "transsexual" can be used to describe people who have SRS in their past or in their future, as well as people who say it only describes those directly in transition. As for "men who like to play dress ups [sic] and pretend to be female in order to satisfy gender identity and gender expression issues" -- to me, this sounds like a reference to transvestites, who may or may not wish to have been born the opposite sex, i.e. who may or may not be transgender at all.

I try to defer to the trans community to decide their own definitions.

laura March 23rd 2012 | 6:18 PM

I looked her up on google and found her modelling portfolio.

she's absolutely beautiful and has such grace! disgusted that jenna isn't allowed to compete.

D March 23rd 2012 | 7:19 PM

I am agianst beauty pageants period.

Don Thompson March 24th 2012 | 2:14 PM

I am assuming one also cannot be a contestant if one started off being cut out of the womb as in the case of Caesaren Section.  In fact, I would think those who`s moms were induced should be unqualified as well.

 

pats March 24th 2012 | 2:14 PM

you got to draw a line on this whole politically correctness issue.

she is a man. NO question about it, IF instead of a beuty pagent he decided to go into a sports competition he would have had the advantage since he is A MAN.

use your brains and think people. smh

azaleia March 24th 2012 | 10:22 PM

she must be reincorpored to the competition, even if she doesn´t win.
Transsexualism is an inborn medical condition, not an identity, NOT a cosmethical thing, or "something that you do".
Sex is IN the brain, not in genitals, but this woman corrected her inadecuated genitalia time ago, as every woman do when they develop in the womb because of any intersexual condition, and what really matters is her brain-sex: female.
That´s the difference between a male with dress, and an intersexed female.


 

scallywag March 24th 2012 | 11:23 PM

What will be interesting to watch is if Ms Talackova will pursue legal recourse as the pageant’s decision once again opens up a fissure as to how one defines gender and how this may act to discriminate against those individuals who for all intensive purposes are the genders they insist they are despite events and circumstances, such as their birth which are often beyond their control.

http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2012/03/miss-canada-yanks-transgender-co...

roc March 25th 2012 | 12:12 PM

you people are out of your mind,the dude tried to cheat the system,HE entered a girls program and tried to get away with it,their is no such thing as a heshe,more like a freak this is not medical or was born in a mans body,it is a HE no way around it?

HE should be put in an hospital to help cure he's mental stat.and anyone who agrees He is a she should also seek help,

 

Doreen Hacker March 25th 2012 | 5:17 PM

Jenna Talackova is transgendered and completed surgery in her mid teens. At this stage even Olympic competition would acknowledge her simply as a woman.
Jenna Talackova is a homegirl and we should all support her. She is one of us - a woman, Vancouverite and Canadian.
The more stunningly beautiful transgendered women like her that "sneak into" high profile beauty pageants the better!
Lie about your status and then reveal after the competition. I don't think the pageants will have the guts to demand gender verification exams. That would be such bad headlines!
Jenna Talackova has done more to advance the cause of transgendered than most could dream off in a short time.
The more people talk and discuss the more the profile of the issue is raised and more minds get challenged into changing their perception.
Good job Jenna Talackova! Don't be sad - Vancouver should throw you a party and simply declare you Miss Vancouver by popular vote.
Pageants continue to discriminate against married women, women over 30 and women with children and apparently they also discriminate against transgendered women.
This isn't right and as an Olympic city, Vancouver has a duty to stand up and say that all competitions should be free from discrimination. If she can compete as a woman athlete - why can she not compete as a beauty queen.
And yes - Jenna is mesmerizling beautiful ...

As a woman  I call on all women to say: Welcome, Jenna! We are proud to have you.

PollyK March 25th 2012 | 6:18 PM
flow in wrote:

my only gripe is that the word "transgendered" is used to refer to her. She is not transgendered. that is a term that applies to a range of gender variant people who have no desire to change their genitalia. She is Transsexual. she has nothing in common with men who like to play dress ups and pretend to be female in order to satisfy gender identity and gender expression issues.

Transgender is the correct term, transexual can be offensive. This is about her gender not her sexuality. Gender identity and sexuality are very different things. Comparing homo hetero or bisexuality to transexual just doesnt work. Now if they used the term transvestite or cross-dresser that would be incredably aweful. These people are not generally doing it to "satisfy gender identity and gender expression issues" but as a sexual fetish. Gender nonconforming, or intersex are terms for people who live in the varied betweens of gender. Yes, transgender implys many things under one umbrella, but the term transexual does not imply what you think it does. Transexual includes those who are pre post and non op. The thing though is when talking about our gender, it's about our gender, and it's nothing like talking about our sexuality. I personally take it rather badly when someone refers to me as a transexual because I feel it's an inacurate and degrading term. I am a transgender female.

 

>:(
alexa March 25th 2012 | 8:20 PM
roc wrote:

you people are out of your mind,the dude tried to cheat the system,HE entered a girls program and tried to get away with it,their is no such thing as a heshe,more like a freak this is not medical or was born in a mans body,it is a HE no way around it?

HE should be put in an hospital to help cure he's mental stat.and anyone who agrees He is a she should also seek help,

 

 

is it fun to be disgustingly transphobic? fuck you. She's a lady, show her some respect.

Jasmine eastall March 26th 2012 | 12:00 AM

I am not offended by transsexual, thats what I use to describe me, where woman isn't suitable.  

She is a she!!!!

If you are transsexual, it is not a walk in the park, its not what some say as having fun.  It's something, that is reall frustrating, and seriousl costs a lot of money to correct your bod.

How did she cheat?

It's a contest for women and she identifies with being a woman.

mike March 26th 2012 | 7:19 PM
I think she is totally BEAUTIFUL, and the organizers are shallow... I wouldn't have any problem dating her... What's wrong with people in todays day and age..
Me March 26th 2012 | 8:20 PM

How is it not obvious to everyone that this "woman" has the body of a little boy with implants?  She does not represent beauty and I am ashamed to think that other women think "she" is attractive and worthy of being portrayed as an example of feminine beauty.  Just look at the frame! She is straight as a board except for her implants.  Come on ladies... we need to be proud of ourselves and not support this.

Tamara March 27th 2012 | 7:07 AM
I say let's do what has been done to many including Rush L...... BOYCOTT anything TRUMP BOYCOTT any and all sponsors of the Miss Universe Event. Isay Can the organization provide beyond the shadow of doubt the doctors did not make a mistake at birth and declare male insted of female. There is still soo much we do not know about genetics, the human body, or the human mind to have ruled out other than by (oh my gosh Inny = Female, Outty = male), mabye but this is not always the case there are intersex, male, female, and many genders ranging in between. Maybe they should have all of the contestants in the Miss Universe pagent submit to a panty check, Blood Tests, Genetics testing, and hey who knoew there are women without a womb or ovarys but are they still female in the organizations eyes. I say this because there are females "NATURALLY BORN" whom do not have a womb and or ovaries, and what about those that cannot bear children are they still naturally born females. How does one define this in their terms. HAVE THEY LOOKED AT ALL of the Contestants to verify this. BOYCOTT,, BOYCOTT,BOYCOTT,, BOYCOTT,BOYCOTT,, BOYCOTT,BOYCOTT,, BOYCOTT,BOYCOTT,, BOYCOTT,BOYCOTT,, BOYCOTT,BOYCOTT,, BOYCOTT
MaryRonate33 March 27th 2012 | 8:08 AM

‎"Natural Miss Universe"? Isn't that an oxymoron?....too funny.

Saw this at Dacritics.org

WendiG March 27th 2012 | 1:13 PM

On the one hand, we have an article and an accompanying video designed to show women pushing back against the Republican version of what they would fantasize as a woman's reality...then we have this..

Along with bear-baiting, dogfighting, minstrel shows ad nauseum there is no room for 'beauty' pageants in the world, and the Observer's lack of  ability to see the  hypocrisy of rationalizing a contestant's 'right' to be part of such objectification makes no sense..but then again, you feature 'fashion' spreads with anorexic looking girls, (yes, girls, few could even be called women, although that is who these ads are supposed to appeal to) that resemble nothing so much as 12 year old boys, so why should this surprise me?

As an ex-Vancouverite who is always searching (apparently in vain, here) for some interesting/intelligent articles about the City, guess I'll be unlinking with the Observer..

Andre April 10th 2012 | 5:17 PM

There is more to being a woman than just looking like one. it's insulting to women everywhere that they would even consider allowing her to participate. Don't be fooled!!!!!!