Hailing from Vancouver, Miss Universe Canada contestant Jenna Talackova made international headlines when she was disqualified from the pageant for not being a “naturally born female,” but she was subsequently allowed to participate. Not only did the blonde bombshell place in the top 13, but she was named Miss Congeniality by her competitors.
Talackova challenged a discriminatory practice, was championed by many and allowed herself to be a very visible transgender role model. As writer Kevin Farrell writes for Unicorn Booty
, “Her body, her past, her gender identity and sexual orientation – all of these topics and pieces of Jenna were made available for dissection and criticism when she entered this competition. Where most people would crumble, Jenna Talackova excelled and succeeded.”