2012 has been a roller-coaster year for 23 year-old Jenna Talackova, who has just be named Grand Marshall of the Vancouver Pride Parade.
Jenna was born and raised in Vancouver, BC. Born as a male, by age 4 Jenna began to identify as a female. By at 14 she began hormone therapy, and when she turned 19 she underwent gender re-assignment surgery.
In 2010 Jenna competed in the Miss International Queen pageant in Thailand, a competition for trans-gendered and transsexual women. She then went on to compete in 2012 for Miss Universe Canada.
Organizers of the Miss Universe competition disqualified Jenna from the competition because she was not a naturally born female. Upon receiving the news, Jenna engaged the renowned feminist lawyer, Gloria Allred, to represent her. They took their case to the Miss Universe Organization and to Donald Trump, the owner of the competition, and eventually reversed their decision citing, “[a]s long as she meets the standards of legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, which we understand that she does, Jenna Talackova is free to compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant.”
Jenna competed in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada competition and made it to the top 12. She was one of four women to receive the Miss Congeniality award, but did not make it into the top five.
Joining Jenna as Grand Marshal’s for the 2012 Vancouver Pride Parade are local gay sporting advocate, Bill Munroe, and community activist, David Holtzman. Jenna has made several appearances in 2012, including the LA Pride Parade in West Hollywood, California.