Trump wishes transgender contestant luck in Miss Universe pageant

AP

Donald Trump, who runs the Miss Universe Organization, issued a statement this week wishing transgender contestant Jenna Talackova “the best of luck in her quest for the crown.”

The statement came the same day that Talackova and attorney Gloria Allred urged the organization to clarify its gender requirements.

The organization said it actually made the decision a day earlier to let the 23-year-old Talackova compete in the 2012 competition to become Canada’s contestant.

The organization said Talackova could enter the pageant “provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions.” No further details were provided.

Earlier on April 3, Talackova and Allred urged the organization to clarify its position, and displayed a copy of Talackova’s passport, which lists her as female, as do her birth certificate and driver’s license.

Talackova, a Vancouver resident, had been disqualified from the 61st Miss Universe Canada pageant by organizers citing a rule that she must be “naturally born” a woman.

Talackova pleaded with the pageant’s leaders to drop the rule.

“I am a woman,” Talackova said this week. “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.”

Talackova and Allred urged Trump to state that Talackova can vie to represent Canada in the Miss Universe contest if she wins the Canadian contest. They also called on him to eliminate the rule.

“I do not want any other woman to suffer the discrimination that I have endured,” Talackova said.

In response, the pageant organizers issued a statement: “Gloria Allred’s statements to the press today pay no mind to the fact that Mr. Trump and the Miss Universe Organization made the fair and just decision in allowing Jenna to compete in the Miss Universe 2012 Canada pageant.”

It also said it’s evaluating its rules to ensure the issue does not occur again.

“There is no need to further ‘evaluate’,” Allred responded. “The rule is blatantly discriminatory and it is time for Mr. Trump to say that he will get rid of the rule.”

The rule requiring a contestant to be “naturally born female” appears to still be in effect in other countries around the world, Allred said.

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