Jenna Talackova Takes On High-Profile Lawyer To Fight Donald Trump’s Transphobia

Although the Miss Universe Organization has allowed finalist Jenna Talackova to compete, the embattled transgender woman is not sure she wants to, given that they have asked her to “[meet] the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions.”

Talackova has taken on women’s rights lawyer Gloria Allred, and the two held a press conference earlier today. They did not announce whether she would be competing, implying that they will sue the competition if it will not go farther and remove its discriminatory policy.

Allred blasted Donald Trump’s handling of the situation, saying that Talackova minded her own business when it came to the Donald’s junk.

“Jenna entered this competition and gave the pageant her time, her best efforts and her money. She did not think for one moment that what she might have looked like at birth would be relevant. She did not ask Mr. Trump to prove that he is a naturally-born man, or to see the photos of his birth, to view his anatomy, to prove that he was male. It made no difference to her. Why should it have made a difference to him?”

Trump called in to TMZ to say he “couldn’t care less” if Talackova competed, and that Allred would be “very impressed” with his genitalia.

And Talackova, for her part, issued the following statement:

When I was selected as a finalist, I was thrilled. I had always dreamed of being in the Miss Universe competition, and having an opportunity to represent my country, Canada. After I was chosen for the finals, I was told that there was an issue that had arisen regarding my being a contestant, and that the final decision was going to be made by the Miss Universe organization.

Then I was told by representatives of the Miss Universe Canada Pageant that I could not compete, because the rule stated that I had to be a “naturally born” woman, and they said I was not.

I am a woman. I was devastated and I felt that excluding me for the reason that they gave was unjust.

I have never asked for any special consideration. I only wanted to compete.

I saw the statement by Mr. Trump’s representative that was issued yesterday, and I find it quite confusing.

I wish Mr. Trump would just say, in plain words, whether or not I will be allowed to compete and, if I win, whether I will be allowed to represent Canada in the Miss Universe competition. I also want Mr. Trump to clearly state that this rule will be eliminated because I do not want any other woman to suffer the discrimination that I have to endure.

GLAAD states that, “While the discriminatory rule is still in place, last night GLAAD announced that we have had ongoing discussions with the Miss Universe Competition and are working with them to review and update the current policies.”

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  • Gary

    I assume they will allow butch looking lesbians to compete in male beauty/fitness competitions soon then.

  • W.P.

    Probably not, as butch lesbians still identify as female.

    Your argument is invalid.

  • Gauthier

    I say you go girl! I’m sorry for her that she has to face such a shitstorm, but also glad because now all the transphobia is coming out of the woodwork and people are realizing how much work needs to be done to eradicate it from our culture. I cannot believe how many NASTY comments I’ve seen on here from other queer folk, and it disgusts me that as people that were once prosecuted themselves, they are willing to inflict the same repugnant ill-respect on those less fortunate in their rights. In 2012, still. That is really fucking miserable. We should all stand together.

  • sheena

    @Gary: true dont compare that to this ur stupid

  • Zach

    @Gary: You’re a complete idiot. Sexuality doesn’t have anything to do with it.

    Also, people seem to forget that Jenna was *selected* as a finalist. How many hundreds of women were not? Even if they opened this up completely to anyone who wanted to identify as whatever, even temporarily… they would still have to be selected by judges to advance.

    Do you actually think a transgendered woman who didn’t fit the same standard of beauty that’s promoted in North America would get very far?

    Let me be blunt… “Unattractive” people will not win these shallow competitions, regardless of gender at birth. You don’t need to be concerned about manly trans people who don’t fit your mould of female beauty.

  • Mark

    Donald might be rich ! But when he goes to bed at night and looks in the mirror he has to face the fact that he damn sure don’t look like her. I don’t care who you are, She’s fine ! Anybody that would raise a rookus like that feels that she might actually have a chaince to win. Don’t let anybody intimidate you into quiting, go out their and win, because you can and he knows it.

  • jason

    Jenna Talackova is a male, not a female. The only thing “female” about him is his adherence to stereotypical and fetishistic choices such as growing his hair long and wearing make-up, for instance. It’s fetish.

  • Mark

    Jenna Talackova, the Canadian transsexual beauty … Talackova was born a male but had sexual reassignment surgery at age 19. Jenna Talackova, 23, was born male but has identified as a female … She began hormone therapy at 14, She is a woman !

  • jason

    Jenna Talackova still has male chromosomes. These define your sex, not “sexual reassignment”. Jenna may identify as female but her cells are still male.

  • azalea_k

    @jason: Well, they define how the body & anatomy grows (of course allowing for differences caused in intersex or XXY for example people). However hormones (and she probably has those of a non trans woman in terms of estrogen and testosterone) affect mood, behaviour, response, and also allow the body to grow how it should after commencement of replacement. Medical research and the medical community supports this, not your opinions.

  • Mark

    Thank You azalea_k for explaning this, so ill informed people will understand !

  • Adrian

    That clip of Trump on TMZ is great! I enjoy that attitude of “you wanted to compete Jenna, well, now you have your chance. stop whining and bring it.”
    I tell you, if Jenna decides to compete the ratings will be through the roof.
    and if she doesn’t compete, well, chances are people will forget her by this time next year.
    She could be the first trans woman to compete in this competition IF IF IF IF she steps up to the plate.
    Balls in her court now.
    Will she have the “balls” to compete?

  • JayKay

    Hiring Gloria Allred is the quickest way to out yourself as nothing more than a pathetic attention whore.

  • Hyhybt

    @jason: Why?

  • denisesined

    Please take part, your participation is needed. They may be or may not be in favour but your participation is urgently required. It will help set a standard for the future.

    Some people born female are today classed male and claim to have been designated as wrong all their lives. So we need all the legitimate representation we can get.

    Best of luck in your decisions and your life.

    Denise Holliday
    [email protected]

  • what?

    @jason: are you Lumi Bast or nugoyxi? not many men use such “feminist” arguments like you just did.

  • Brian

    If she wins, the plastic surgeon and the hormone pharmaceutical company rep should be on stage at the crowning ceremony. At the very least she should thank them profusely in her speech.

  • ak

    After reading the comments on the Yahoo! version of this article I came here in hopes of finding more support for transpeople like myself. While this is a more supportive environment, some of the comments on this article and throughout Queerty are disheartening. They are the type of comments that make me wonder why they even bother putting the T at the end of LGBT. Even more so they make me want to scream, to let everybody know that I am one of those “freaks”. The same person that they talk about as if I were the one who was confused, not knowing who I am. I know who I am. I know who I am meant to be. I am transgender and the next time someone on here wishes to make a comment about transpeople, I hope that they take the time to make sure that they know what they are writing about. Even more so, I hope that they take the time to look at the world through the eyes of a transperson.

  • Mike

    I just want there to be an Anglo or French Canadian representing Canada at Miss Universe for a change. I swear, most of the last seven or eight have been Russians.

  • jason

    A lot of these trans-gender, trans-sexual types are simply adhering to stereotypes about women’s appearances. They are thus propping up male heterosexual fantasy, not challenging it. I don’t see why gay men should be enabling this.

    Why enable people who are propping up the fantasies of those who hate us?

  • Sweetbrandigirl2004

    @jason: May I remind you jason when were all born the doctor looks between our legs and makes the call on whether were male or female theres NO DNA test done at birth, your genitalia decide what sex you are in our society. We ARE a genitalia divided society not a dna segregated one. Your argument is in valid.

  • Sweetbrandigirl2004

    @Brian: Brian you must be really niece if you think the other women in the contest haven’t spent more then their fair on plastic surgery.

  • Zoe Brain


    Jenna Talackova still has male chromosomes. These define your sex,

    As here:
    A 46,XY mother who developed as a normal woman underwent spontaneous puberty, reached menarche, menstruated regularly, experienced two unassisted pregnancies, and gave birth to a 46,XY daughter with complete gonadal dysgenesis. — J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Jan;93(1):182-9

    Both the mother and the daughter she gave birth to are “really male”, right Jason? Because that’s what your religion or ideology teaches, regardless of Facts.

  • Brian

    @Sweetbrandi: I’m not naive enough to believe that other contestants havent been tweaked, although I do remember a time when contestants had to declare when their beauty was not completely “natural”. I do know for sure that the word “tweaked” could not apply here. Everything about this “woman” is a constract of science. She should be in science journals displaying the wonders of modern medicine, not in Miss Universe.

  • Jeremy

    I must say I was shocked to read some of the comments on here. If you have forgotten this site is for the LGBTQ and other minorities and not only for the gay and lesbian community. I mean come on, I assume most of you on here identify as gay/lesbian and have, in some point of life, faced discrimination because of your sexual orientation. This lady is being treated the very same way and she’s no different than we are. She is a woman no matter what you say. She feels the way other women feel, let her be herself. I say, you go girl, you are every bit of a lady for me.

  • Gary

    @Zach: thx, but not as as much of an idiot as you!

  • Tiamari

    When a baby is conceived, it has no gender. Only much later does a babies gender begin to develop. So does it really matter what she was, at which stage of her life? She is a woman NOW.

Comments are closed.