Jenna Talackova was disqualified from the Miss Universe Canada after it was discovered she had sexual reassignment surgery in 2010. She was selected among 65 other finalists for the 2012 competition, to be held in Toronto in May.
Miss Universe Canada released a statement on Friday saying, “She did not meet the requirements to compete despite having stated otherwise on her entry form. We do, however, respect her goals, determination and wish her the best.”
Miss Universe Canada contestants must meet a basic requirement of being a Canadian citizen and between the ages of 18 and 27 to compete. They also must not be married, pregnant, and have to fill out a more comprehensive form if they meet the basic requirements. There is no mention of rules regarding sex-changes or cosmetic surgery in the requirements.
Jenna Talackova, 23-years old, claimed in her pageant form that she was born a female, but an organizer became suspicious and confronted her about it. She admitted her birth gender last week and then was disqualified from Miss Universe Canada.
Miss Universe Canada President, Denis Davila told CTV News, “We have to have the facts straight. There is no discrimination here at all. You can look at it the way she wants to look at it, but we all have to follow the same rules. She was dishonest.” She added, “It’s really unfortunate that we had to pull her out of the competition, but the truth of the matter is that we have a set of rules that we must enforce. We love Jenna. We embrace diversity. In Miss Universe Canada, we are all from different walks of life.”
Jenna Talackova says she’s known since age 4 that she was a female and began hormone therapy at the age of 14 years old. She then had her reassignment surgery at 19 years old. During an interview for Miss International Queen transgender/transsexual pageant competition in Thailand, Miss International Queen 2010 refers to herself as “a woman, with a history.”