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.