Jenna Talackova, a 23-year-old woman from Vancouver, wanted to contest and win a beauty pageant like so many other girls do. The only difference between Talackova and the others is that she has undergone a sex change surgery to transform herself into a woman.
Yes, the big difference between Talackova and other girls is her will and courage and not the fact that she had to undergo a sex change operation to become who she is now. Talackova feels like a woman, and hence she is a woman.
Talackova, who had participated in the Miss Universe Canada Beauty pageant, had reached the final round when she was disqualified from contesting further after she admitted that she was born a male.
As a toddler, Talackova knew in her mind that she was a girl. She began her hormone therapy at age of 14, and had the surgery when she was 19. With delicate features, long legs and blonde hair she was a strong contender till she was booted out of the competition for being transgender.
The beauty pageant dumped the transsexual contestant stating that she did not meet the requirements to compete despite having stated otherwise on her entry form.
Apparently, according to pageant rules, every contestant must be a naturally born female only.
Jenna Talackova from Vancouver, British Columbia will not compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada competition, organizers officially confirmed in a statement issued on Friday.
We do, however, respect her goals, determination and wish her the best, the statement included.
Interestingly, nowhere has the committee mentioned as to what exactly is the requirement that she fails to meet. The 6.1-feet tall blonde was selected among 65 finalists for the competition to be held in Toronto, May 19, 2012.
The issue has sparked debate everywhere, and the most important question in the whole controversy is whether the decision constitutes discrimination.
The decision certainly reeks of prejudice. It is shameful how people in this day and age, when there is so much information about transsexuals, are still unable to comprehend the sentiments and feelings of transsexual and transgender people. Transsexuals are not very different from the so-called normal people. People still do not understand the difference between gender and sex. While someone might be a male anatomically, his gender could be female, because he actually feels and behaves like a girl.
We admire our Hollywood stars with their augmented breasts, butts and all other possible kinds of implants and surgeries, then why not accept someone who has undergone a sex change surgery? There are probably many other contestants in the same pageant who have undergone cosmetic surgery for their looks. Are they also being thrown out of the competition? Certainly not! Then why attack someone just because she was not born normal?
By throwing Talackova out of the competition, we are only setting a bad example for the future generations. There was also controversy surrounding Chaz Bono, who wanted to participate in ABC's dance competition Dancing With the Stars. People thought if their children watched Chaz Bono on TV, their kids might turn gay, which is obviously ridiculous. But are they thinking of those who are closeted gays, lesbians or those dealing with the problem of gender identity? These children need examples in the form of role models in order to be confident about themselves and face the world.
It is absolutely unfair to not give equal treatment and respect to another person because of societal intolerance and bigotry.
According to a report in the City News Toronto, Connie McNaughton, former beauty queen, who won one of the oldest Canadian pageants for five years, believes that the decision was biased.
I think it's outdated and I think that as a society we're evolving. There are certain countries who cosmetically, surgically, have their girls go and have updates. So (how different is it) if you've augmented your gender because in your heart and soul, you believe yourself to be a woman? she said.
There's going to be parents of other girls who are not going to be happy if their daughters are beaten out by this person, she added.