GLAAD and the Miss Universe Organization today announced that the competition would become open to transgender women. The announcement comes just weeks after contestant Jenna Talackova was disqualified from the Miss Canada pageant because she is transgender.
I am thrilled to share with you that GLAAD and the Miss Universe Organization announced today that the beauty competition will now be open to all women, including those who are transgender.
GLAAD first contacted the Miss Universe Organization on Saturday, March 24 after news broke that contestant Jenna Talackova was disqualified from the Miss Universe Canada competition because she is transgender. GLAAD called on the Miss Universe Organization to review Jenna's case and to open the competition to all women. The Miss Universe Organization has proven to be such a great partner in in this important effort.
Paula Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization, spoke about GLAAD's key role in this decision, saying in part, "We want to give credit where credit is due, and the decision to include transgender women in our beauty competitions is a result of our ongoing discussions with GLAAD…"
Discrimination facing transgender people -- from equal housing and employment opportunities to disproportionate rates of violence -- is simply unacceptable. GLAAD is deeply committed to increasing public support for transgender people across the country and we're proud to be working with the Miss Universe Organization in our efforts.
I invite you to read more about this development and am grateful for your support throughout the year.
Because words and images matter,
Acting President, GLAAD
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