Jenna Talackova, the transgender Miss Universe Canada contestant who was disqualified from the pageant last week for reportedly lying about her original gender on her application, spoke out against the pageant and its high profile organizer, Donald Trump, at a press conference on Tuesday, April 3, according to People Magazine.
She described herself as overwhelmed by the support she has received from fans in response to her ejection from the competition, and gave her own analysis of the series of events so far. She told the media that she was devastated after being removed from the pageant for not being a naturally born woman, and argued that the reason they gave was unjust.
When I was selected as a finalist, I was thrilled, Talackova said. I had always dreamed of being in the Miss Universe competition, and having an opportunity to represent my country, Canada.
Jenna Talackova was a boy at birth but has identified as a woman at the early age of four. When she was 14 years old she began to undergo hormone therapy before receiving gender reassignment surgery at age 19.
I have never asked for any special consideration. I only wanted to compete, Talackova said. I wish Mr. Trump would just say, in plain words, whether or not I will be allowed to compete and, if I win, whether I will be allowed to represent Canada in the Miss Universe competition.
Jenna Talackova's lawyer, Gloria Alfred, also spoke at the press conference, where she criticized Trump's involvement in the situation.
Jenna entered this competition and gave the pageant her time, her best efforts and her money, Allred said. She did not think for one moment that what she might have looked like at birth would be relevant. She did not ask Mr. Trump to prove that he is a naturally-born man, or to see the photos of his birth, to view his anatomy, to prove that he was male. It made no difference to her. Why should it have made a difference to him?
The pageant organizers had changed their decision earlier on Monday, issuing a statement which said Jenna Talackova would be allowed to compete. However, the model did not comment on whether or not she would be returning to the competition following her ordeal.
Alfred argued that the organization did not go far enough, and suggested that her client, Jenna Talackova, is considering filing a lawsuit against the pageant and possibly Donald Trump himself.
Mr. Trump's statement fails to state that the rule that only naturally-born women will be allowed to compete will be eliminated, Allred said. Otherwise, we are considering all of Jenna's legal options.