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Transgender beauty drops out of contest still a winner

Published time: May 21, 2012 10:09
Edited time: May 21, 2012 14:09
Transgender contestant Jenna Talackova takes part in Miss Universe Canada competition during the bikini segment in Toronto, May 19, 2012 (Reuters/Mark Blinch)

Transgender contestant Jenna Talackova takes part in Miss Universe Canada competition during the bikini segment in Toronto, May 19, 2012 (Reuters/Mark Blinch)

Male-born beauty icon Jenna Talackova has dropped out of the Miss Universe Canada pageant. Failing to make the top five, she has already made history as the first transgender lady in a women’s beauty contest.

­The blonde was chosen as one of 12 sexy sirens running for the coveted title, but didn’t make the next round.

Talackova’s fans say she shouldn’t be disappointed, as she has already achieved much more than any title can give. Jenna was dismissed from the list of contestants in March for not being a “naturally born woman”, which the contest rules had demanded. The almighty row saw thousands speaking out to support the transgender beauty.

Talackova’s lawyer says the contestant’s main achievement is a "civil rights victory”.

“I think it is frankly more important than anything, any victory she would win, even representing Miss Canada," Gloria Allred said.

She may not have won the crown, but Jenna became one of four contestants to be named Miss Congeniality, with crowds flocking to support her in Toronto.

Talackova, 23, had sex change surgery aged 19. The Miss Universe organizers had to apply changes to the rules of the beauty contest to ensure that transgender ladies could also give it a whirl. The new regulations come into force next year.

Transgender contestant Jenna Talackova takes part in Miss Universe Canada competition in Toronto, May 19, 2012 (Reuters/Mark Blinch)
Transgender contestant Jenna Talackova takes part in Miss Universe Canada competition in Toronto, May 19, 2012 (Reuters/Mark Blinch)
Transgender contestant Jenna Talackova (C) holds the award for Miss Congeniality at the end of the Miss Universe Canada competition in Toronto, May 19, 2012 (Reuters/Mark Blinch)
Transgender contestant Jenna Talackova (C) holds the award for Miss Congeniality at the end of the Miss Universe Canada competition in Toronto, May 19, 2012 (Reuters/Mark Blinch)