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Miss Universe will now accept transgender contestants

Wednesday, Apr 11, 2012 - 01:35

April 11 - The Miss Universe Organization teams with GLAAD to change competition rules. Alicia Powell reports.

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The landscape of beauty pageants is changing. After two weeks of talks, GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, and the Miss Universe Organization have announced all Miss Universe pageants will now be open to transgender females. Director of communications for GLAAD, Rich Ferraro. SOUNDBITE: Rich Ferraro, director of communications, GLAAD, saying (English): "The Miss Universe Organization has told us that the official policy is going to be changing this year so that transgender women can compete in 2013. The trials for that begin in fall of 2012. Jenna is going to be competing this year in Miss Canada, which we're definitely rooting for her." The decision came after Jenna Talackova, a transgender woman from Canada, was disqualified from the Miss Canada Universe competition after officials learned she was not born a female. After a public outcry, GLAAD immediately began talks with the organization, which is owned by Donald Trump. SOUNDBITE: Rich Ferraro, director of communications, GLAAD, saying (English): "We've been speaking with the Miss Universe Organization for about two weeks now and urging them to make this change and to follow in the footsteps of organizations like the Olympics, like NCAA college basketball, like the Girl Scouts of America, and like The CW's America's Next Top Model. These are institutions that do not discriminate against transgender women." Transgender woman Laverne Cox is an advocate for gender equality and is in full support of both organizations' efforts against discrimination. SOUNDBITE: Laverne Cox, transgender woman, saying (English): "For me, Jenna is courage and this overturning of this discriminatory policy with Miss Universe is inspiring me to take more action and to call for those I know and they have access to also take action for equality for everyone." Jenna Talackova is set to compete in the Miss Universe Canada pageant on May 19th. Alicia Powell, Reuters.

Miss Universe will now accept transgender contestants

Wednesday, Apr 11, 2012 - 01:35

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