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article imageJenna Talackova asks Trump to eliminate 'natural born' rule

By JohnThomas Didymus     Apr 4, 2012 in Lifestyle
Transgender beauty queen Jenna Talackova has asked Donald Trump to eliminate the rule that Miss Universe contestants must be "natural born" females. Her attorney said: "It isn't just about competing. It's about the elimination of the rule for others."
Talackova, during a press conference on Tuesday, said: "I want Mr. Trump to state that this rule will be eliminated because I do not want any other woman to suffer from the discrimination that I have endured." She added: "I have never asked for special consideration. I only wanted to compete."
Digital Journal reports that the transgender beauty queen was disqualified from 2012 Miss Universe Canada contest because she was not "natural born" female. According to Digital Journal, Talackova said she began hormone therapy at the age of 14. She said she had a sexual reassignment surgery at 19.
MSNBC said Talackova, in a statement read by her attorney, Allred, criticized Trump, saying that her gender at birth should not be an issue. According to the Allred: “Jenna entered this competition and gave the pageant her time, her best efforts and her money. She did not think for one moment that what she might have looked like at birth would be relevant. She did not ask Mr. Trump to prove that he is a naturally-born man, or to see the photos of his birth, to view his anatomy, to prove that he was male. It made no difference to her. Why should it have made a difference to him?"
CTV News reports Allred accused Trump of confusing issues with the statement by Michael D. Cohen, special counsel to Donald Trump, that: "The Miss Universe Organization will allow Jenna Talackova to compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions." Allred said: "Instead of stating clearly that Jenna will be allowed to compete, Mr. Trump qualifies it by adding conditions that are ambiguous. We are asking Mr. Trump to step up and be a leader in the fight against discrimination. Or would he prefer to hide behind other organizations and say that if they discriminate, so can he?"
ABC News reports that Allred, at the press conference, said: "Mr. Trump, admit that you are wrong and get rid of your Trumped-up rule."
Allred said further: "It isn't just about her being able to compete. It's about the elimination of the rule for others. Jenna is standing up for others, not just herself. " She added: "All that Jenna wants, all that she has ever wanted, is to compete on the same basis as everyone else. She deserves that chance. We say to Mr. Trump open your eyes and your heart. Put aside any fears, prejudices, or stereotypes and see Jenna for who she is, a woman."
MSNBC reports Allred has hinted there may be a lawsuit against the pageant organizers, saying that legal teams are already in place in Canada, New York and California.
According to ABC News, Trump's organization issued a statement in response: "Gloria Allred's statements to the press today pay no mind to the fact that Mr. Trump and the Miss Universe Organization made the fair and just decision in allowing Jenna to compete in the Miss Universe 2012 Canada pageant. Pageant rules have been modernized to ensure this type of issue does not occur again. Gloria's arguments were made moot by the decision rendered yesterday...Like all the contestants, Mr. Trump wishes Jenna the best of luck in her quest for the crown."
Allred at the press conference, did not respond to questions whether Talackova will compete if Miss Universe fails to eliminate the rule.
MSNBC explains that proving Talackova is a woman may be difficult under Canadian law because legal requirements vary from one province to the other. She may have to produce medical certificates and legal affidavits from doctors. Talackova may also have to meet the requirements at international competitions, some of which require that a contestant must be "natural born" female.
But CTV reports Trump confirmed to TMZ in a phone interview after the conference that Talackova would be allowed to compete. He said: "We go by the law, and based on the laws she's able to compete if she wants to. She can take her shot, she can maybe win and maybe she won't win." Trump, however, said he would not apologize for the incident: "There will be no apology whatsoever. Frankly, if she competes that's wonderful and if she doesn't want to compete because maybe she thinks she can't win that's fine also, I couldn't care less."
He added that the controversy had only boosted the Miss Universe Canada ticket sales
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