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Transsexual Jenna Talackova to speak today about Miss Universe decision


Everybody's been talking about Jenna Talackova, the Miss Universe Canada hopeful who was disqualified for being transsexual. Miss Universe announced she will be allowed to compete after all, and will speak today on the issue at a press conference in Los Angeles.

"[We] will allow Jenna Talackova to compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant," said the pageant's new web statement, "provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions."

In Canada, Talackova is legally recognized as a woman. However, it is unsure what exactly Talackova is planning to do next, at least until the press conference she and her high-profile lawyer Gloria Allred have scheduled for 11:30 in Los Angeles, California.

At the conference, Talackova was set to "discuss her feelings about being suddenly excluded from the Pageant competition," according to a press release from Talackova's publicist Rory Richards, titled "Gloria Allred vs. Donald Trump - Beauty Pageant Discrimination."

Ms. Allred was set to "discuss why Jenna should be permitted to compete and what action she plans to take if the Miss Universe Pageant refuses to change its discriminatory rule."

Today's web announcement sings quite a different tune to Miss Universe's previous statements. Only a week ago, the pageant's national director Denis Davila told CTV that Talackova was disqualified for being "dishonest" in telling the beauty contest that she was born a woman. Of course, trans rights activists responded to this, saying Talackova was born a woman, in mind if not in body.

"People are born not only with male or female bodies, but male or female brains," said Marie Little, chairperson of BC's Trans Alliance Society, a few hours ago over the phone. "The structure of the brain is formed before birth. All the scientific studies have come up with the same conclusion—it is virtually universal."

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