Trans contestant fails to get past top 12 in Miss Universe Canada competition
A transgender contestant has failed to reach the top five of the Miss Universe Canada competition for the second year in a row.
As in 2012, Jenna Talackova reached the top 12 stage of the competition at the weekend in Toronto, but again failed to make the final five.
A panel of 15 judges including celebrity designers Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan, actress Kristin Booth and singer Kreesha Turner picked the winner, Riza Santos.
Talackova’s lawyer Gloria Allred on Saturday said: “She’s still a winner as far as I’m concerned… She won an ‘herstoric’ civil rights victory and that I think is frankly more important than anything, any victory she would win, even representing Miss Canada.”
Allred referred to last year’s competition when she was originally disqualified from the event because she underwent gender reassignment surgery five years ago, and was deemed by organisers not to be a ‘naturally born female’.
Head of the Miss Universe Organization, Donald Trump, subsequently overturned the decision and allowed her to take part.
Despite the change in policy to allow transgender contestants to take part, Allred still criticised Miss Universe for allowing individual franchises to decide whether to enforce it.
In the meantime, she said the Miss Universe organisation is “leaving it up to each franchise to determine how they want to handle it.”
The winner of Miss Universe Canada now goes forward to the international Miss Universe competition, which is being held in December.
The 23-year-old was last year the first transgender competitor to enter the Miss Universe Canada competition and attracted extensive media coverage.
Jackie Green, 19, who made history last year by becoming the first trans woman to enter the Miss England competition, was the subject of a new documentary which aired on BBC3,