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Jenna Is All Smiles

Miss Universe Canada Finalists Miss Universe Canada Finalists AP

All smiles: Jenna Talackova, the first transgendered Miss Universe Canada contestant, is photographed with other contestants during a photo call at the Sandman Signature Hotel in Toronto on Saturday.

Ms Talackova, who had sexual reassignment surgery at the age of 19, sparked a heated gender debate in March after she was thrown out of the competition.

She had already reached the finals of the Miss Vancouver pageant before officials stepped in and banned her from the competition for being born male after it was claimed she lied on her application about her natural-born gender.

The only requirement stated on the Miss Universe Canada website is that to enter, women must be a Canadian citizen and between the ages of 18 and 27. The application form makes no mention of rules regarding sexual reassignment surgery.

LGBT activists claimed the organisation was being discriminatory, and more than 20,000 people signed a virtual petition on Change.org demanding that she be re-instated.

Her case was taken on by celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred who is famous for representing clients including a string of Tiger Woods' ex-lovers and Nicole Brown Simpson's family during the O.J. Simpson trial.

Soon after the Trump Organization changed its policy, saying that pageant rules had 'been modernized to ensure this type of issue does not occur again'.

She told The Star on Saturday: 'This was all very much worth it, more than I could have ever imagined. What happened was a negative that has turned into a complete positive.'

Continue reading and view more photos here

Previously, Is Jenna Pushing Too Far? 

View a photo gallery of Jenna

Last modified onThursday, 24 October 2013 04:44
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