Wednesday, April 4, 2012

YOU GO GIRL! Transgender Woman Fights To Be Included In Miss Universe Pageant

Today's article is dedicated to Canada's Jenna Talackova. Jenna, 23, is a stunningly beautiful transgender woman who was recently told by the Miss Universe pageant that she could not participate in the contest because she was born male.  Talackova has said in many interviews that she knew she was a girl by time she was the age of four, began hormone therapy at 14, and underwent surgery four years ago. Her passport and birth certificate both identify Jenna as being female.

To this writer, Jenna Talackova's refusal to acquiesce to the dismissal by Miss Universe is akin to Rosa Parks' historic and bold decision to not sit at the back of the bus because she was an African-American.

The world, and our understanding of humanity continues to evolve.  At times in our history,

  1. Having African-Americans as slaves was the norm.
  2. Inter-racial marriage was deemed unacceptable.
  3. Women were basically supposed to be "happy housewives" who pumped out offspring to continue the family name.
  4. Individuals with a mental illness were locked up in inhumane asylums and often lobotomized. 
Now, while there has been much progress, members of the LGBTQ community still face discrimination and attacks within their homes, workplaces, and society in general.

One by one, like Martin Luther King, Jr and all the progressive leaders in the South, we must participate in our or own march - whether it be by writing our political representatives, making efforts to understand a community of human beings we have previously marginalized, or even by merely sitting down with someone we know who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, in order to gain more understanding.

I unequivocally reject the suggestion that members of the rainbow community are on a mission to ruin the fabric of society. And the suggestion that they have chosen their sexuality is for the most part laughable. 

Did African-Americans decide at birth to be black so that they could be subject to segregation, apartheid, and bombings? 

Did women choose to be born female so that they couldn't receive equal pay and be seen as the weaker of the sexes?

And so I end this article with the question: Did Jenna Talackova choose to become the woman she was born to be in order to be seen as a freak who could not participate in a beauty pageant?  For that matter, does the gay community choose to be cast aside by family and friends and even face the fear of death in many countries?


As Lady Gaga so aptly states, "I was born this way." As for me, I will do my part to work for not only the inclusion of the LGBTQ community, but for the embracing of it.

Mark Andrew Alward
Kitchener-Centre's New Democrats - LGBTQ Representative


Chris said...

Funny, I don't think anybody has rejected her as a person for her choices. Nobody that I have seen has slandered or questioned the decision she made to change sexes or the transgender community in general. Nobody.

I don't think it's fair to equate a person who has had a sex change trying to compete in a beauty contest with someone locked in the evils of slavery. Or someone whose life is threatened or even taken by gay haters. It demeans the legitimacy of their dire situatuons in my personal opinion.

It wasn't too long ago that liberals were ready to outlaw and ban beauty contests as sexist. Now that they have an ax to grind it has become their favorite sport du jour.

Personally, I long ago gave up the idea that beauty is superficial as these pageants continue to promote...despite the talent competition and interview. It is sad to me that Jenna felt she needed to have the level of cosmetic surgery she has undertaken so far, and no doubt she will not be the only one in the Miss Universe competition to have gone under the knife to try to prove to themselves that they are beautiful and acceptable to a warped society willing to judge them for how they look.

Mark Andrew said...

Chris, I think that most people who are keeping tabs on this story and disagreeing with Jenna being allowed to participate are doing so because she is trangender. They think that she has chosen this lifestyle which they do not agree with. And their statements are derogatory in nature. I'm not sure if you're the same Chris who was commenting on this on Facebook, but if so, your comment was something like "It says something about Canada when the only girl they can find for a beauty contest is a guy."

Being transgender is not a choice.

I stand by the comparisons that I made. People like Jenna who may not fit society's "norms" are brave and make themselves targets for hate and perhaps even violence when they speak out.

Cosmetic surgery is a whole other issue, and not the one at hand here.

Aela said...

I know this comment is very late in the game, but I loosely followed this those months ago and beyond, I always frown at societal entities rejecting the true identity of a person through technicalities of birth. I think she is one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen, though I prefer the male package remain intact 8P.

Anywho, I hope the world fully wakes up at some point in my life, and accepts everyone for who they truly are, and not what they technically should be. I think the only way to reach a more open minded world is after one or two more generations, and the generation of hatred and racism and closed minds passes from this world. (those who lost the civil rights battles, you know who you are.)

Thank you.