Jenna Talackova has been officially listed among the sixty-two national finalists scheduled to compete in the upcoming Miss Universe Canada competition. The winner of the competition will go on to represent Canada at the Miss Universe 2012 pageant in December. As a transgender woman, Jenna was initially denied the opportunity to compete, but after working with GLAAD, the Miss Universe Organization reversed its decision, allowing Jenna back into the competition. The organization and its owner Donald Trump also announced policy changes that will allow transgender women to compete.
The LGBT community has praised the Miss Universe organization for its decision. GLAAD President Herndon Graddick also commented on the change, saying, “Jenna and all of the LGBT advocates who have called for this change and spoken out in support of transgender women are to be commended. At a time when transgender people are still routinely denied equal opportunities in housing, employment and medical care, today’s decision is in line with the growing levels of public support for transgender people across the country.”
GLAAD congratulates Jenna on being a finalist for Miss Universe Canada, and thanks her for speaking out for transgender equality.