Huffpost Media

Jenna Talackova, Miss Universe Canada Contestant, Makes History As Pageant's First-Ever Transgender Beauty (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Posted: Updated:
Print Article
JENNA TALACKOVA MISS UNIVERSE CANADA
Jenna Talackova, the first transgender Miss Universe Canada contestant, is photographed with other contestants during a photo call at the Sandman Signature Hotel in Toronto on Saturday, May 12, 2012 ahead of this week's Miss Universe Canada pageant. Talackova, a Vancouver resident, underwent a sex change four years ago after being born a male. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Aaron Vincent Elkaim) | AP

TORONTO - Jenna Talackova is set to make history as the first-ever transgender contestant to compete at the Miss Universe Canada pageant.

The Vancouver beauty, who was born a man but underwent sex-change surgery four years ago, is among 62 contenders vying for the crown.

It all starts Thursday night with a swimwear and evening gown contest in front of a panel of 15 judges and a live audience in downtown Toronto.

The panel includes designers Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan of HGTV's "Home Heist," "The Kennedys" actress Kristin Booth and singer Kreesha Turner.

The Miss Universe Canada winner will be crowned Saturday.

Talackova has drawn the bulk of media attention so far, attracting an entourage of reporters and photographers at various public events in recent days.

IN PHOTOS (Story continues under slideshow)

Jenna Talackova's Journey
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

She's taken the scrutiny in stride, even lobbing a jab at pageant owner Donald Trump when asked how she feels about his involvement.

"Well, he has great pageant hair already," she quipped during a visit to a Toronto school earlier this week.

Watch Jenna's Contestant Interview

Who's The Competition

The tall, slim blond created an international splash when organizers disqualified her because she isn't a naturally-born female.

But Trump overruled the decision and said Talackova could take part.

Canadian organizers say the Miss Universe Canada winner is the contender that personifies "the combination of humility, beauty and intelligence that define women of the 21st Century."

Miss Universe Canada 2011 is Chelsae Durocher of Tecumseh, Ont.

"There's a lot of attention, but it's attention in a good way," Talackova said of her heavily publicized run at the crown.

"It's a good cause, right? It's for equality."

The Other Contestants

The Other Miss Universe Canada Contestants
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Contestant Interview

Around the Web

Photos: Vancouver's Jenna Talackova in Toronto for Miss Universe ...

Jenna Talackova: Miss Universe contestant who was born male ...

Jenna Talackova can compete in Miss Universe Canada, but will ...

Women's Rights Petition: Miss Universe Canada, Donald Trump ...

Transgender Beauty Queen Jenna Talackova -- I Never Asked to ...

Universal appeal: Jenna Talackova's Miss Universe preparations ...

Jenna Talackova: Miss Universe Canada pageant will allow her to ...

Transgender beauty queen allowed to compete in Miss Universe ...

Jenna Talackova in this weekend's Miss Universe Canada pageant

Torika Watters, Controversial Miss Fiji, Loses Crown Due to Age Requirement

The Days of Calling Women Like Jenna Talackova “Transgendered” Are Numbered