Jenna Talackova on Tuesday called on Donald Trump to plainly state that transgender women can compete in the Miss Universe pageant.
Miss Universe Canada officials said on Friday that Talackova could not compete “because she did not meet the requirements to compete despite having stated otherwise on her entry form,” a reference to the fact that Talackova was born male.
The organization released a statement on Monday saying that the 23-year-old Talackova would be allowed to compete “provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards by other international competitions.”
At a press conference in Los Angeles organized by civil rights attorney Gloria Allred, Talackova said she wanted a definitive answer from the organization’s owner.
“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,” she said.
“I also want Mr. Trump to clearly state that this rule will be eliminated because I do not want any other woman to suffer the discrimination that I have to endure.”
Gay rights advocate GLAAD called on the organization to “use the incident to speak out in support of the transgender community.”
Talackova, a Vancouver resident, has identified as female since age 4. She began transitioning at the age of 14 and underwent gender reassignment surgery at 19.
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