Soon there could be a new rule that allows transgender women to participate in the Miss Universe pageant. Advocates believe that this policy shift is a step forward for equality.
Pageant officials said they are working on the language of the official rule policy change but expected final word to come soon. However, the rules will have to be approved by Donald Trump, who runs the Miss Universe Organization, and NBC. Both Trump and NBC co-own the contest and have the final say.
“Everybody should be allowed to participate in every aspect of society,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. “Absolutely it’s good news, it’s another pernicious structural discrimination barrier taken down.”
This announcement of the policy change comes a week after the organization decided to allow Jenna Talackova to compete for Canada’s spot in the Miss Universe pageant this year. Talackova is now allowed to compete for Miss Universe Canada pageant, now that the Miss Universe organization has tweaked the rule requiring a contestant to be a “naturally born woman.”
Talackova’s sex change initially led organizers in Canada to disqualify her from the 61st Miss Universe Canada pageant in May. Talackova pleaded with the pageant’s leaders to drop the rule and allow her to compete.
“I am a woman,” Talackova said last week. “I was devastated, and I felt that excluding me for the reason that they gave was unjust. I have never asked for any special consideration. I only wanted to compete.”
What do you think about the new rule? Should transgender women be allowed to compete in pageants?