Support is growing for transgender beauty queen, Jenna Talackova, who was recently disqualified from the Miss Universe Canada pageant after it was discovered that she’d been born a boy.
Talackova was one of 65 finalists for the Miss Universe Canada 2012 competition, to be held in Toronto in May.
However, the Donald Trump–owned pageant confirmed on Friday that the 23-year-old blonde has now been disqualified from the competition.
Miss Canada issued a statement saying “She did not meet the requirements to compete despite having stated otherwise on her entry form… We do, however, respect her goals, determination and wish her the best.”
Talackova responded to the statement in an email to the Vancouver Sun. “All I can say is that they disqualified me because I am not ‘natural born… (That) doesn’t make sense because since I was conscious I always felt this way.”
A change.org petition has been made for the former contestant, calling for the 23-year-old Vancouver native to be allowed to compete for the crown. At the time of writing this article, the petition has over 30,000 signatures. .
Talackova’s case mirrors that of Chen Lili, a 24-year-old transgender woman and successful model who had hoped to represent China in the Miss Universe Contest before eventually being disqualified in 2004.
You can view or sign the petition here.