Jenna Talackova, the first transgender contestant to compete in the Miss Universe pageant, fell short in gaining the Miss Canada title on Saturday, but was placed in the top 12 of 62 contestants in Toronto. Sahar Biniaz was crowned the title.
Talackova, who stands at six-feet-one-inch, competed with 61 other contestants at the Bluma Appel Theater in for the title of Miss Canada. Despite her loss in the competition, 23-year-old Talackova was one of four contestants to be voted Miss Congeniality in the pageant which included evening wear and bikini competitions.
In March, Vancouver, British Columbia native Talackova was disqualified from the Miss Universe Canada pageant when judges ruled that she lied about her gender on her application because she was born a male, Walter Talackova. The disqualification was because she was not a naturally-born female, according to the pageant, as Talackova underwent gender reassignment surgery four years prior, changing from male to female.
However, Talackova was allowed to compete again after a petition signed by over 20,000 people surfaced. Since there were no clear rules about women who have underwent sex change operations, Miss Universe organization owner Donald Trump reinstated Talackova. The organization said Talackova met the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions.
Talackova entered international news after hiring attorney to the stars Gloria Allred, garnering attention and support from far beyond just Canada. Despite her loss, Allred is not disappointed in her client's triumph to compete in the pageant.
She's still a winner as far as I'm concerned, Allread said in a statement to the Associated Press. She won an 'herstoric' civil rights victory and that I think is frankly more important than anything, any victory she would win, even representing Miss Canada.
Sahar Biniaz, 26, was crowned Miss Canada on Saturday and will compete in the international Miss Universe pageant in December.
View the slideshow to see photos of Jenna Talackova at the 2012 Miss Universe Canada competition and view the video below.