Transgendered woman a pageant finalist

May 20, 2012 at 10:48 AM

TORONTO, May 20 (UPI) -- A transgendered woman was one of the final 12 contestants for Miss Universe Canada and was a finalist for the Miss Congeniality award, the organization said.

Jenna Talackova, 23, was the first transgendered person to take a place in a Miss Universe pageant Saturday after the organization, owned by Donald Trump, reversed a previous decision to disqualify the Vancouver woman for not being a "naturally born female," the Toronto Star reported.

Susan Gapka, chair of Toronto's Trans Lobby Group, said she believes Talackova has brought awareness to the issue.

"Jenna has broken down a barrier for social inclusion in the beauty pageant," she said. "She's a winner in our eyes as a woman, a trans, an activist and a beauty queen."

Sahar Biniaz, 26, of Vancouver, won the Miss Universe Canada competition held in Toronto.

Talackova underwent gender-altering surgery when she was 19 after seven years of hormone therapy.

Related UPI Stories
Topics: Donald Trump
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Bella Hadid and brother Anwar battle chronic Lyme disease, mother says
Jena Dewan shares topless photos taken by husband Channing Tatum
Cobain's Beatles cover song gets released on vinyl
'Dancing With the Stars': Kim Zolciak to undergo heart surgery
Celebrity airport style: What the famous wear when they travel