Miss Universe Execs Boot Transgender Contestant

Jenna Talackova not 'naturally born female' as rules require

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 26, 2012 1:02 AM CDT

(Newser) – Jenna Talackova might look like a babe, but that's not what it says on her birth certificate, so she's getting the boot from Canada's Miss Universe pageant. The transgender contestant from Vancouver might be a "real girl" now, say officials, but pageant rules require that each contender be a "naturally born female." Talackova claimed on her registration form that she was born female, but officials suspected otherwise, and she finally 'fessed up. Talackova "feels like a real girl, and she is a real girl," pageant official Denis Davila tells the Toronto Star. "She didn't expect people to question it. She was hoping we could put her back in the competition, but the rules are very clear, and there’s no way we can go back on it.”

Talackova, 24, says she knew she was a female at the age of 4. She began hormone therapy at 14 and had surgery at 19. "I regard myself as a woman—with a history," she said in an earlier interview. Davila claims there's no hard feelings between Talackova and pageant officials. “She was excited about the competition," he said. "Just because she can’t compete doesn’t mean we stopped loving her.” Check out an earlier vid of Talackova on the Toronto Star website.

Canada's Jenna Talackova (right) poses in an earlier beauty contest for the Miss International Queen 2010 pageant in Thailand.   (Getty Images)
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