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.

Listen to CNN Radio's podcast

Post by:
Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "The Lunatic Fringe"

    I'm sorry guys, don't let me get in your road. Please continue...

    Welcome back kellyintulsa. Again sorry for your loss. Take your time getting back into this again. You have to be exhausted. -Jeff

    April 15, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Philip

    Odd how there weren't any people trapped inside the bodies of other people in the USA prior to World War II concluding and Nazi Bayer AG being captured and brought back home to the states. Come to think of it, there weren't flying saucers being reported near US bases until after the Nazi secret weapons programs were captured and brought back either. We already know pharmaceuticals have been linked to gender confusion, now you know where pharmaceuticals and flying saucers came from.

    April 15, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • portland tony

      They were....but prior to the war and many years after...Very few, who wanted to live, didn't talk about it. Remember how *ueers were treated. By the way the N*zi's used to execute them on the spot!

      April 15, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Right.........

      No, actually, only you are putting forth you insane theories...we all know that you're a few fries short of a happy meal....

      April 15, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Philip

    @Jeff. Something you need to understand about Israel. The Israeli Supreme Court justices are all Freemasons, not Jews. Chase Manhattan Bank financed adolph Hitler well into WWII. It took an act of congress, the 'trading with the enemy act' in order to force this bank ran by men claiming be be Jews to stop helping the enemy murder 6 million Jews and experiment on millions more in their medical facilities. Just because it appears to be 'jew' does not make it so.

    April 15, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Philip

    ...those four "little green men" found lying next to a crashed BMW model J38 saucer...very few can identify them as Jewish women besides me. Nazi Bayer Aspirin Group had their own corporate concentration camp where they experimented with genetics on millions of Jewish women and boys even years before WWII. Even to this very day a mass grave of Jews is buried beneath Bayer AG'S WORLD HEADQUARTERS. The NAZIs plan was yo launch saucers from Mexican bases and scare Americans into thinking aliens had sided with Hitler. The US gov. gave Mexico 8% of the Colorado River's water in exchange for not allowing their bases to be used by Nazis. Now you know why Mexico has legal claim to the Colorado River.

    April 15, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Philip

    *BMW j38 saucer found crashed near Roswell, NM (Area 51) shortly after American troops siezed Nazi secret weapons facilities where 1000's of jets and rockets and flying saucers were captured and brought back home, along with Nazi Bayer AG's finest nazis.

    April 15, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jennifer

    @ tara dimarco, That has to be the stuppidest post I have ever read! Your either born Male or Female... Duh

    April 15, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. fernace

    Philip, I know how worked up you are about your theories! I agree the Nazis were horrific! However, history is full of examples of ho.mos.e.xuality, transs.e.xuals & spaceships! Not all issues lead back to Nazis & Bayer aspirin!!

    April 15, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ♚Mmmmm♛

    what is a liar but a denyer of the obvious...

    April 15, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Philip

    @M's. Here is Jesus' words describing the lie better than you. (speaking to Jewish religious leaders) "If God were your Fatheraq you would love me...you are from your father the Devil...he is the father of the lie...This is why you do not listen, because you are not from God."–John 8:42-47. See? Not all are God's children. Not even all Jewish religious leaders, not even all babies. God has always judged babies by their parents. For it is God whom judges the marriage bed, fornicators and adulterers. (Hebrews 13:4)

    April 15, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. _ ONLY WOMEN BLEED _

    Real life for real women is Not about Beauty Contests!!

    April 15, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Philip

    Yes, we have a few cave scribblings depicting lightning balls as UFO's. But not thousands of them. After WW2 flying saucers began being seen flying over America by literally thousands of eyewitnesses...mostly near US SECRET UNDERGROUND FACILITIES BUILT DURING THE COLD WAR. The same flying saucer designs were seen flying over Russia by thousands too, mostly near underground cold war facilities too. Those are in fact manmade flying saucers, not aliens.

    April 15, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • portland tony

      The ones flying over Russia were the result of headlights reflecting through the bottom of vodka bottles. In the US...peyote and magic mushrooms!

      April 15, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eden

      A person using the phrase "in fact" does not, in fact, make it true.

      April 15, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tom

    Even gay patents want straight children, don't they?

    April 15, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Oh, you silly hypocrites

    Why don't you all worry about your own selves and leave other people the *#$& alone to live their lives???

    April 15, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

      @ Oh, you silly hypocrites:
      You're exactly right.
      I say, "let others do with their stuff as freely as you would do with your stuff."

      April 15, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sofa King

      I don't have STUFF. I have THINGS. That's how I'd like to keep it.

      April 15, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • George Carlin

      Nah, it's stuff.

      April 15, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. _ ONLY WOMEN BLEED _

    FACT: Only Women Bleed

    April 15, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Alice Cooper

    Whereas, if you were to cut me, the fact is glitter and rainbows would flow out....jeez.

    April 15, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10