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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soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    @ Mmmmm, 3:58 PM:
    You are certainly a big troll, as there is no way in the world that Mmmmm could have written that...
    Unless...my earlier theory that, as the fool hath said in his heart, there is no Mmmmm...
    Oh, well...it's all good.
    When I consider the heavens...it came from somewhere.

    April 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sarita

    Gosh she is beautiful ...she looks a lot like Ivanka Trump can anyone see that too ?

    April 14, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sarita

    I didn't ask you to do anything..... i just ask if anyone could see how much she looks like Ivanka Trump ?

    April 14, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "The Lunatic Fringe" 6648825s612

    CNN: From beauty pageants to college sports, transgender people break barriers.

    J.F. "Is that why, when some people go out shopping, when they get home, they find that the siding and sheathing had tore clear off thier house"?

    Again I ask...never mind. 😉

    April 14, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. GOP

    Damn liberals, ruining the country

    April 14, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "The Lunatic Fringe" 6482889p546

    CNN: Talackova’s attorney Gloria Allred says, she and her client want the “naturally born” rule eliminated.

    J.F. Wouldn't Talackova's attorney better serve the public interest, by having the "born by" date completley removed freom "beer cans"?

    April 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "The Lunatic Fringe" 6497644v971

    There goes government contraception. Would you like paper or plastic?

    April 14, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "The Lunatic Fringe" 5613118r162

    @Linda

    I hate to break it to you? But I don't wear cheap sh!t like that.

    April 14, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    There's very little in the way of smellums left on the market that a man can wear today.
    Most young guys who would wear good cologne now are trying to smell like cotton-candy angels.

    April 14, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lou

    At this rate they may as well remove the words (gender, male and female) from the english language. I bet they still know the difference beween a man and athe woman in other countries.

    April 14, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    I wear Chanel Pour Monsieur eau de toilette concentrée, but it's not expensive enough for Jeff.

    April 14, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • dazzle ©

      @Joey, we hardly ever meet up here but I know you are a man of good taste. That is my favorite mens scent. I've been wearing Chanel Allure eau de parfum for years and never tire of it.

      April 14, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. mittens; job destroyer

    I will electrify the border fence.

    April 14, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Lou

    Its getting to be like a sci-fi flick. Family, mom and dad children are all just a blur of liberal freaks. Soon a 13yr old who gets pregnant will be able to live with their significant other from grade school and call themselves a family... goin to hell in anice liberal handbasket.

    April 14, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. mittens; job destroyer

    I will force lower wages on the working poor.
    Don't fret lou. No transgenders on my watch.
    I do not like lady gaga.

    April 14, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. fernace

    Hey Kenny Rogers, 1) I am a born female & have no plan to change 2) I am Scandinavian, we are Experts on trolls....such as yourself! See what I mean!! LOL!

    April 14, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
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