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Transgender Contestant Allowed Into Miss Universe

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Posted: Apr 3, 2012 8:40 AM

Donald Trump's Miss Universe Organization has reversed an earlier decision and will now allow transgender contestant Jenna Talackova to compete in the Miss Universe Canada pageant.

Because the 23-year-old beauty queen from Vancouver was born male, organizers initially disqualified her last month as a finalist in the 61st Miss Universe Canada pageant, which takes place in May. Miss Universe pageant rules state that entrants must be "naturally born" females and Talackova underwent a sex change four years ago.

But shortly after Talackova announced a news conference in Los Angeles with high-profile lawyer Gloria Allred on Tuesday, Trump's New York-based organization said in a statement that Talackova will be allowed to compete "provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions." The statement did not elaborate further.

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