Sex-change no bar to pageant
TRANSGENDER women will be allowed to participate in the Miss Universe beauty pageant next year.
The announcement comes a week after pageant organisers ruled that a trailblazing 23-year-old could vie for the crown this year.
Jenna Talackova, a Vancouver resident who was born male, underwent a sex change four years ago.
Her sex change initially led organisers in Canada to disqualify her from the 61st Miss Universe Canada pageant in May. However, she pleaded with the pageant's leaders to drop the rule.
"I am a woman," Ms Talackova said yesterday, adding: "I was devastated. I have never asked for any special consideration. I only wanted to compete."
Donald Trump, who runs the Miss Universe Organisation, wished her "the best of luck in her quest for the crown".
Officials confirmed last night that they were working on the language of the official rule-policy change.