Update: Fired Transgender Beauty Pageant Contestant Reinstated
The moves comes after Jenna Talackova announced a press conference with the high-profile lawyer Gloria Allred, as well as an extensive backlash from fans of the pageant.
Pageant organizers had said that their rules were that contestants must be “naturally born female” and that Talackova was disqualified for lying on her application and breaking the rules. They now say she can compete “provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada and the standards established by other international competitions.”
Allred had said that the press conference would discuss whether action would be taken in the United States against the Miss Universe Organization, which is owned by Donald Trump, if it refused to change its “discriminatory rule.”
A source told PEOPLE that the organization “is extending invitation/waiver to Jenna, and they’re working on full inclusion for future contestants for 2013.” The source adds that Talackova “has not returned any calls or emails and has not said if she’ll compete.”
In a video interview for the 2010 Miss International Queen transgender competition in Thailand, Talackova said she has known since age four that she was a female, saying she began hormone therapy at 14 and went through the surgery at 19.
Herndon Graddick, a spokesperson for GLAAD, said:
The Miss Universe Organization made the right decision and has taken an important first step. Now, GLAAD urges the Organization to include all women and use this incident to speak out in support of the transgender community.
So many women today do not have equal opportunities for employment, housing and safety simply because they are transgender. The Miss Universe Organization should look to state non-discrimination laws and institutions including the Olympics, NCAA and The CW’s America’s Next Top Model, which do not discriminate against transgender women.
Canadian anti-discrimination laws do not extend employment protections to transgender people. A bill to do that is currently before the Canadian parliament.
Image source: @JennaTalackova