Jenna Talackova

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Jenna Talackova
Talackova in July 2012
Talackova as grand marshal of the 2012 Vancouver Pride parade
BornWalter Talackova
Vancouver, British Columbia
Known forMiss Universe Canada pageant competitor
 
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Jenna Talackova
Talackova in July 2012
Talackova as grand marshal of the 2012 Vancouver Pride parade
BornWalter Talackova
Vancouver, British Columbia
Known forMiss Universe Canada pageant competitor

Jenna Talackova (born Walter Talackova) is a Canadian model and television personality, who gained media attention in 2012 when she successfully waged a legal battle to be allowed to compete in the Miss Universe Canada after being initially disqualified for having been born a male.[1]

Of Czech and Babine descent, Talackova was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia.[1] Her parents initially named her Walter.[1] She experienced gender dysphoria beginning in early childhood, and began her gender transition at age 14, while attending Vancouver's Killarney Secondary School,[2] before completing her sex reassignment surgery at 19.[1] She initially took the name Page when she began transitioning, before changing it again to Jenna.[2]

Talackova is currently a student of holistic nutrition.[1]

Miss Universe Canada

After previously competing in the 2010 Miss International Queen pageant for transgender and transsexual women in Thailand,[3] Talackova registered to compete in Miss Universe Canada 2012.[4] Sources are in conflict as to whether she identified herself as transgender on her application; however, after she was selected as one of the Top 65 applicants who would proceed to the pageant, a person who recognized her from Miss International Queen contacted the Miss Universe Canada organizers, and Talackova was then disqualified on the grounds that the pageant rules required its competitors to be "naturally born" women.[3]

Talackova subsequently contacted lawyer Gloria Allred, who took on the case and challenged the pageant organizers, including Donald Trump in his capacity as owner of the international Miss Universe organization, to reverse the decision and allow Talackova to compete.[5] The organization reversed its decision before the case reached the courts, with Trump's office issuing a statement that "[a]s long as she meets the standards of legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, which we understand that she does, Jenna Talackova is free to compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant."[4]

At the pageant on May 19, 2012, Talackova made it into the Top 12, but failed to reach the Top 5.[6] She was, however, one of four contestants awarded the title of Miss Congeniality.[6]

Talackova as grand marshal of the 2012 Vancouver Pride parade

Talackova was named co-grand marshal of the 2012 Vancouver Pride Parade in recognition of her fight to be in the Miss Universe pageant.[7]

References