Jenna Talackova, 23, wanted to compete in the Miss Universe Canada pageant. She got booted from the pageant because she's transgender after being born a man, and now she's charging the competition with discrimination.
She held a press conference Tuesday in Los Angeles as she explores her legal options. She held up her Canadian passport during the press conference, which lists her as a woman, and noted that her gender is listed as a woman on her birth certificate and her driver's license as well.
She's being represented by legal superstar Gloria Allred. "[Talackova] did not ask Mr. Trump to prove that he is a naturally born man, or to see the photos of his birth to view his anatomy to prove that he was male," Allred said. "It made no difference to her. Why should it have made a difference to him?"
"[Donald] Trump has caved in a bit already," Allred said, according to the Vancouver Sun. "He has to go the rest of the way and say it loudly, and say it clearly, that not only will Jenna be allowed to compete, but that the rule is gone — no ifs, ands, buts or ors. No conditions and no excuses. Otherwise, we are considering all of Jenna's legal options."
Allred said that legal teams had been formed to work with Talackova in Canada, New York and California.
The organization said Monday that she could compete if she met Canadian "legal gender recognition requirements," along with other competition standards, as opposed to the rule she was initially removed from the competition for which stated she had to be a naturally born woman. The statement didn't provide further details, though; Allred called the statement "ambiguous" while Talackova called it "confusing."
"I wish Mr. Trump would just say in plain words whether or not I will be allowed to compete, and if I win, whether I'd be allowed to represent Canada in the Miss Universe competition," Talackova said, according to the Vancouver Sun. She also asked for Donald Trump to eliminate the rule.
Along with Allred, Talackova's gained some other high-profile support, including conservative talk show host Bill O'Reilly of Fox News:
"What right does the Miss Universe pageant have to violate this lady’s right to be a woman?" O'Reilly asked. "They're basically saying because you weren’t born a woman you don’t have a right to be a woman. It's kind of complicated, but she did what she had to do to become a woman. On her passport it says she's a woman. ... [I]t doesn’t sound right to me."
Talackova got an early start on her gender transition; she began hormone therapy when she was just 14 years old and had sex reassignment surgery in 2010 when she was 19. She says that she knew she was a woman when she was 4 years old.
You can watch this video if you want to see Talackova talk about... inverting:
"Would [Trump] prefer to hide behind other organizations and say that, if they discriminate, so can he?" Allred asked at the press conference. "Mr. Trump's statement fails to state that the rule that only 'naturally born women' will be allowed to compete will be eliminated."
The Miss Universe Canada competition is being held in Toronto in May.