The Huffington Post is reporting that Jenna Talackova, 23, had made it all the way to the finals in the competition before officials discovered that he was born male. Miss Universe rules stipulate that contestants must be "naturally born female" in order to compete. Apparently, Mr. Talackova had misrepresented himself on the official registration form for the pageant on which he stated that he was born female.
Miss Universe Canada issued a statement Friday saying Talackova "did not meet the requirements to compete despite having stated otherwise on her entry form," ctv.com reports. "We do, however, respect her goals, determination and wish her the best."
His picture has since been scrubbed from the pageant's official website.
Talackova told ctvbc.ca that he will not be issuing any comments about his situation until he consults with a lawyer, but said in a tweet that the he had been disqualified "over discrimination." In a follow-up tweet, he promised, "I'm not giving up."
Talackova said in a 2010 interview that in a 2010 YouTube interview that he knew at the age of four that he was meant to be female and began hormone therapy at the age of 14. He underwent reassignment surgery at the age of 19.
Transgendered men in the fashion industry are rare but not uncommon.
According to ABC News, a model named Lea T, who was born a male named Leandro Cerezo, served as the personal assistant to Givenchy's creative director Riccardo Tisci. He has appeared in high-profile fashion magazines such as Vogue Paris, Hercules, Interview and Cover.
For the most part, transgendered men have been working in the fashion industry for years, but have usually stayed in the background.
"Trans women been doing hair and makeup and styling in the fashion industry behind the scenes for decades," Laverne Cox, the transgendered star of VH1's reality series Transform Me told ABCNews.com. "It's really about time we are in front of the camera."
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