GLAAD is to thank for change in rules at Miss Universe, allowing transgender contestants
The name Jenna Talackova might have rang no bells with people until not long ago, but today, she is credited with making one small but much needed step towards the ban of discrimination against transgender women.The 23-year-old beauty was booted from the Miss Universe Canada competition a short while ago for being born a man and admittedly hiding it from the organizers.
She teamed up with celebrity attorney Gloria Allred to protest the decision and, if possible, take legal action against Donald Trump and NBC, the owners of the beauty pageant.
The decision was eventually overturned and now Jenna too is allowed to run for Miss Universe Canada – but it wasn't thanks to Allred, the model's legal representation, The Donald says, as cited by TMZ.
As the real estate mogul / television personality sees it, going to Allred for counsel might have even hurt Jenna's chances of getting the beauty pageant to change its initial ruling, had it not been for GLAAD.
It was the prominent rights organization that actually contributed to the final decision, which will see Jenna competing in the highly mediated beauty pageant.
“Donald Trump claims Gloria Allred and her publicity-[seeking] shenanigans had NOTHING to do with overturning a Miss Universe policy that banned transgender women from its competition – if anything, Gloria actually hurt their cause,” TMZ reports.
“The Miss Universe Organization just released a statement, claiming its decision to overturn the transgender policy was 'a result of our ongoing discussions with GLAAD and not Jenna's legal representation, which if anything delayed the process',” the celebrity publication further says.
“According to the statement, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation contacted the Miss Universe organization on March 24th – over a week before Allred held her news conference with transgender beauty queen Jenna Talackova,” adds the same media outlet.
Either way, Jenna can't but be happy with the result. As she also told Barbara Walters on 20/20, she did not specifically set out to become a role model or a champion for transgender women, but she's happy that she could contribute to such a historically important moment as this one.