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Donald Trump's Miss Universe Pageants Now Open To Transgender Women

April 10th, 2012 11:10pm EDT

Jenna TalackovaOfficials at businessman and TV star Donald Trump's Miss Universe Organization have agreed to allow transgender women to enter their beauty pageant following a dispute in Canada.

Jenna Talackova was disqualified from competing for the title of Miss Universe Canada last month and she is currently battling with Trump and his company over the decision.

Gay rights activists waded into the controversy and, after two weeks of talks with the heads of the Miss Universe Organization, the rules are about to be changed - transgender women will now be allowed to compete.

A spokesperson for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation says, "For more than two weeks, the Miss Universe Organization and Mr. Trump made it clear to GLAAD that they were open to making a policy change to include women who are transgender.

"We appreciate that he and his team responded swiftly and appropriately. The Miss Universe Organization today follows institutions that have taken a stand against discrimination of transgender women... Jenna and all of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) advocates who have called for this change and spoken out in support of transgender women are to be commended."

Miss Universe president Paula Shugart tells The Hollywood Reporter, "We want to give credit where credit is due, and the decision to include transgender women in our beauty competitions is a result of our ongoing discussions with GLAAD... We have a long history of supporting equality for all women, and this was something we took very seriously."

 

Jenna Talackova

 

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