Miss Universe Revamped – Allows Transgender Women

Miss Universe Revamped Allows Transgender WomenMiss Universe pageant has changed its rules to allow transgender women to take part in the contest. Starting 2013 transgender women will be able to take part in all of its competitions, the organization and gay rights group Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) said on Tuesday. This decision was announced after a media furor over the disqualification of Canadian contestant Jenna Talackova from the upcoming Miss Universe Canada contest as she was not a naturally born female.

Talackova, who is now aged 23 years, underwent a surgery to change her gender when she was 19 years old. She was reinstated to the Canadian competition last week by a businessman Donald Trump, who owns the Miss Universe organization. Talackova has a Canadian passport, driver’s license and other documents that prove her identity as a woman.  The two groups in a joint statement said that Miss Universe after consultation with Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation discussed the change in policy to include transgender women in time for the start of this season’s pageant, a time when competitions around the world take place.

The change is in line with other groups like America’s Next Top Model, The Girl Scouts of America and the Olympics that have taken a stand against such discrimination. Paula Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization said, “We have a long history of supporting equality for all women and this was something we took very seriously”. The exact language which will put an end to the long standing rule that the contestants must be ‘naturally born females’ is still being worked said the officials at the organization.  National beauty pageants are currently being held across the globe in different country’s to choose the contestant who will compete in the Miss Universe 2012 contest which will be held later this year.

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