A transgender contestant, who entered the contest and was disqualified, may now be allowed back into the competition. According to BBC News, the Miss Universe Organisation might reverse its earlier decision and allow Jenna Talackova, 23, who was born a male to compete.
Although the Donald Trump-run competition specifies that entrants must be "naturally born" females, Talackova may be afforded the opportunity to re-enter the competition "provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions," the organisation said.
After being disqualified, Talackova had announced that she would hold a press conference in Los Angeles with lawyer Gloria Allred. It was after making this announcement that the Miss Universe organisers began considering allowing her back into the contest.
This is not the first pageant that Talackova has entered. She competed in the 2010 Tiffany Miss International Queen Competition for transgendered and transsexual women in Pattaya, Thailand. Talackova has said that she realised she was a woman at age four, began hormone therapy at age 14 and changed her sex at age 19.
But Tessa-Marie Leon, public relations director of the Miss Jamaica Universe Pageant, is not in agreement with the possibility of Talackova entering the competition.
"We have to agree with the international organisers requirements, it says that you have to be born a female. Having changed your organs to become a female should automatically disqualify you," she said.
When pressed as to what would happen if the transgendered competitor was allowed back into the competition, Leon stated that this would "be a revolution that will question the other requirements."
Several Jamaicans who were yesterday asked to comment on the possible move to allow transgender persons to enter beauty pageants were against it.
"Me don't even want to hear dat, what you are saying is really low and I think these men especially are taking this sex change thing too far. The organisers should make up their minds if the competition is a sex change competition or what," James Richards, from Kingston told THE STAR yesterday.
"They should really charge that man, he represents a lie. It is a female competition. He is a shame to the human race, me nuh believe inna dem ting, dem fi charge him," Orlando Grant from Harbour View said.
Also, Kishanie Whyte, who works as a media manager in the Corporate Area reasoned, "really really, my take is no, this person should not be allowed in this pageant. This pageant is for females.
She further said, "What kind of rubbish is that, what is this world coming to, that is nonsense, I have nothing more to say."
Jamaica has always had entrants in the Miss Universe competition, with the most successful being Yendi Phillipps who placed second in 2010. The contestants for this year's competition were recently unveiled and the competition is slated to take place in a few months.
A perfect opportunity has presented itself again to look at transgenderism and ethics in one go but given how the issue is being reported we may miss this golden period to use it of better understanding.
also see a post on sister blog GLBTQ JA on Wordpress: