From beauty pageants to college sports, transgender people break barriers
Jenna Talackova, right, and her lawyer Gloria Allred want the Miss Universe pageant to drop its "naturally born" clause.
April 14th, 2012
10:06 AM ET

From beauty pageants to college sports, transgender people break barriers

Jenna Talackova was born a man. She began the process of becoming a woman at age 14 with hormone treatments and then had surgery at the age of 19.

“I have always dreamed of being in the Miss Universe competition and having an opportunity to represent my country, Canada,” said the 23-year-old beauty contestant.  “I was told by representatives of the Miss Universe Canada Pageant that I could not compete because a rule stated that I had to be a naturally born woman,” she said.

The Miss Universe Pageant is owned by Donald Trump who, after much attention, changed his mind and said Talackova could compete. But, Talackova’s attorney Gloria Allred says, she and her client want the “naturally born” rule eliminated.

There are some pageants specifically for transgender women and transvestites, but Talackova wants to compete in mainstream pageants. Allred said allowing Talackova to compete but not changing the “naturally born” rule doesn't address the problem.

That rule has already been dropped from most sports from high school to the Olympics. Transgender people can compete in high school, college, the Olympics and the LPGA. The NCAA amended its transgender policy just last year.

“We met with several of our committees that deal with some of these issues and the main policy issues had to do with mixed team status and had to do with the use of banned substances - testosterone,” said Mary Wilfer, associate director of health and safety at the NCAA.

She said that after a year of testosterone suppression medication, a male becoming a female will lose a sufficient amount of male muscle-building strengths and other benefits of testosterone and therefore has no unfair advantage over other naturally born females when it comes to athletic competitions.

Nancy Hogshead-Makar is the senior director of advocacy for the Women’s Sports Foundation. The WSF was part of a group that helped form the transgender policies for the high school and college level.

“In high school it’s about gender identification. Whatever somebody says they are is what they get to participate in,” said Hogshead-Makar. The WSF took its policy for the NCAA from the International Olympic Committee’s policy that mandates that transgender women must be at least two years post-gender reassignment surgery in order to compete.

Another group that helped shape the NCAA’s policy is the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Shannon Minter, a transgender man, said it’s true that just because a woman was once a man, it does not make her a better or stronger athlete.

“There’s lots of women actually, transgender women now, who are competing in women’s sports. And you know, I will say that none of them are at the top of their field,” Minter said.

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  1. chrissy

    lol @ fernace, careful now. I was attacked last night by *wolf god* for saying that very same thing! Believing in god but not religion i mean. Hellfire, brimstone, damnation, the whole 9 yards! Lmfao course as you can see, i didnt give a damn!

    April 14, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. fernace

    Thanks for the heads up, chrissy! I'm w/you though, & stand by my conviction! Also not afraid to speak my mind, but "wolf god", hmmm, does sound intimidating! Not!! Lmfao!!

    April 14, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. fernace

    Oh, bobcat (iah) that was You outside my window!? Lol, I'm sneaking a peak tonight!!

    April 14, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. mittens; job destroyer

    Low wage jobs for all. Some people want me to ask my wife if that's ok with women so I will.

    April 14, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. mittens; job destroyer

    I know everything about the economy. Jesus Christ told me.
    Jesus and the holy ghost are wolf g*d's brother.

    April 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. ♚Mmmmm♛

    Lol.

    April 14, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. ron

    @ chrissy n banasy, not to worry bout this childish stuff goin on here. Anyone thats been here for awhile can see through all this too. Just sorry you all seem to be singled out. Thoughts are with you today banasy and lee also.

    April 14, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. ron

    @ chrissy n banasy, not to worry bout this childish stuff goin on here. Anyone thats been here for awhile can see through all this too. Just sorry you all seem to be singled out. Thoughts are with you today banasy and lee's family too.

    April 14, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. chrissy

    Ty fernace and ron. And fernace you know who the ficticious wolf god is! And im surprised the two above shoving their beliefs at us are willing to live on earth with us mere mortals! Whatsa matta god didnt have a place for y all up there?

    April 14, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. ♚Mmmmm♛

    you look marvelous! dufus hijaker...military medical already has the taxpayers footing the transgender bills...that scandal is bigger than US GAO

    April 14, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. RUFFNUTT (( trailrer trash red-neck from belton mo. 64138 ))

    you thhink Jenna Talackova does it missionarry style or just lays face down and takes it like a man?

    April 14, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RUFFNUTT (( trailrer trash red-neck from belton mo. 64138 ))

    Jenna Talackova looks like bruce lee with a blonde wig on...

    April 14, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. chrissy

    Roflmmfao @ wimp! You got no idea how indomitable i can be! Plus enough is enough already! This bs with mary has gone on waaayy too freakin long. And banasy did nothing to deserve it. And if you cant be loyal to your friends than you dont deserve any!

    April 14, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • dazzle ©

      @chrissy, this is the weirdest blog ever and it appears as though trolls and hijackers have gone rogue. I'm home and will catch up later.

      April 14, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ♚Mmmmm♛

    you need a user handle...let's see:

    copycat creep
    duplicate dummie
    grave reflections
    identically opposite
    triplicate copies only no originals
    dupliciously honest
    conterfeit's counter fits
    concoted coocoo nuts
    make-believe mockers
    billy bogus and the hillbillies
    fraudently and fabricated
    phoney phooey
    artifically pseudo
    shamly affected and simulated
    not an a55 just artificially assumed
    fraudulently sofa king invented
    spoofing bluffer

    April 14, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. chrissy

    @ ?mmmm? see how much fun that is when someone uses your U/N and mocks you? Not much is it? Its gettin old real quick, and i dont understand first, why CNN lets it continue and 2nd, how the hell do they do it?

    April 14, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • ♚Mmmmm♛

      really im waitin for the next stage act:

      secret service agents and the pros t!ts toots. i heard they're gonna be stateside tonight...

      April 14, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
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