From Beauty Pageants to College Sports, Transgender People Break Barriers
Jenna Talackova was born a man. She began the process of becoming a woman at age 14 with hormone treatments and then had surgery at the age of 19.
“I have always dreamed of being in the Miss Universe competition and having an opportunity to represent my country, Canada,” said the 23-year-old beauty contestant. “I was told by representatives of the Miss Universe Canada Pageant that I could not compete because a rule stated that I had to be a naturally born woman,” she said.
The Miss Universe Pageant is owned by Donald Trump who, after much attention, changed his mind and said Talackova could compete. But, Talackova’s attorney Gloria Allred says, she and her client want the “naturally born” rule eliminated.
There are some pageants specifically for transgender women and transvestites, but Talackova wants to compete in mainstream pageants. Allred said allowing Talackova to compete but not changing the “naturally born” rule doesn’t address the problem.
That rule has already been dropped from most sports from high school to the Olympics. Transgender people can compete in high school, college, the Olympics and the LPGA. The NCAA amended its transgender policy just last year.