Jenna Talackova, 23, was kicked out of the contest last week after the pageant officials announced she did not meet the requirement of being “naturally born” female.
Miss Universe made a statement on Monday it might allow her to compete after all, provided she met her country’s “legal gender recognition requirements”. Ms Talackova, who was born male, underwent a sex change a few years ago and hidden this fact from the contest organizers.
“Additionally, the rules currently state that all contestants must be naturally born females. After review, organizers discovered that Jenna Talackova falsified her application and did not meet the necessary requirements to compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant,” the organization explained.
As BBC reports, the beauty held a press conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday with her lawyer Gloria Allred. Ms Allred said Miss Universe and its owner, Donald Trump, must decide whether or not Talackova will be allowed to compete in the May contest.
“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,” the lawer said.
She kept on talking : “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?”
“Otherwise, we are considering all of Jenna’s legal options,” warned Ms Allred.
“I wish Mr Trump would just say in plain words whether or not I will be allowed to compete,” Ms Talackova said, “and if I win, whether I’d be allowed to represent Canada in the Miss Universe competition.”
“I also want Mr Trump to clearly state that this rule be eliminated, because I do not want any other woman to suffer the discrimination that I have endured.”
One of Talackova’s lawyers, Joe Arvay, called the statement from Miss Universe about Canada’s legal gender recognition requirements “incomprehensible”.
“[Donald] Trump has caved in a bit already. He has to go the rest of the way and say it loudly, and say it clearly, that not only will Jenna be allowed to compete, but that the rule is gone — no ifs, ands, buts or ors. No conditions and no excuses,” Ms. Allred told reporters.
He also revealed that the beauty and her team would file a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission. He cites that the pageant’s “natural-born” requirement is not allowable under Canadian human rights legislation.
In its statement, Miss Universe also said Ms Talackova would have to meet “standards established by other international competitions”, but did not clarify which contests would be used.
“She’s very visible, and people are saying ‘Here is a beautiful person who transitioned,’ ” said Jillian Page, a Montreal-based blogger on transgendered issues.
“So, many guys are saying, ‘She’s beautiful, she has to be a woman’ — very few people are discussing chromosomes.”