The recent Miss Universe contest has generated some interesting issues concerning gender and identity. And cosmetic surgery.
A 23 year old trans-gender model, Jenna Talackova, has been dismissed from the Canadian round of the contest on account of “dishonesty”.
Jenna Talackova was born a male. She began hormone therapy at the age of 14; at the age of 19 she underwent gender reassignment surgery.
Jenna had made it to the finals of Miss Vancouver. Talackova says the issue is one of discrimination, “If cosmetic surgery is allowed then why not gender reassignment?”
The contest officials have stated that Talackova’s dismissal is due to the fact that she lied on her application. Jenna had indicated on her original registration that she was female. “That’s dishonesty. We have to face the facts straight; every contestant must be a naturally born female. There is no discrimination here at all”, said Mr Denis Davila, the director of Miss Universe Canada.
The internet is abuzz. An online petition signed by more than 25,000 people has called for Jenna’s reinstatement.