Jenna Talackova was born male, but that didn't stop her from entering the Miss Universe Canada beauty pageant with high hopes she might win the crown. After a media scandal, she was allowed back in the competition but, sadly, did not win.
As we also reported at the time, Jenna was axed from the pageant when organizers learned that she wasn't naturally born a woman, which, apparently, went against the pageant's rules.
Various groups protested against the decision to have her booted, because there was no such rule saying contestants must be born female to enter it.
Eventually, the organizers backed down and allowed Jenna back on the pageant – but she didn't take home the crown, TMZ reports.
She didn't go home empty-handed either.
“After all the hoopla to compete, transgender beauty queen Jenna Talackova LOST the title of Miss Universe Canada but DID manage to win something else – Miss Congeniality,” the celebrity e-zine reports.
“Talackova took the stage Saturday night in Toronto – along with 61 other Canadian women – as the first transgender to compete in the Miss Universe beauty competition, but was axed after the top 12,” TMZ further says.
“Although she didn't make it past the semi-finals, Talackova took home a different prize: she was one of four women to be named Miss Congeniality. The real crown went to 26-year old Sahar Biniaz,” adds the same media outlet.
However, by becoming the first transgender to enter the competition, Jenna has paved the way for change in the beauty pageants industry, which was what she was hoping for from the start.
After her unjust elimination and the protests carried out through various channels, Donald Trump, owner of the Miss Universe pageant, decided it was time for the rules to be “updated” / “modernized.”
At the same time, he stressed that the actions of Gloria Allred, the celebrity attorney Jenna hired to get back in the competition, only “delayed” the decision.
In the end, perhaps Jenna came out as a winner no matter her ranking in the Miss Universe Canada pageant.
“I feel like the universe, the creator just put me in this position as an advocate. And now it’s like this, and I’ll take that position. If it’s helping anybody else, my story and my actions, then I feel great about it,” she said about the media attention she got.