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Despite the presence of one of the first transgender teen characters on prime-time television on the acclaimed Canadian teen soap Degrassi: The Next Generation, our neighbors to the North are less progressive on transgender rights than Degrassi would have us believe, if the recent controversy over a booted, transgendered Miss Universe Canada contestant is any indication. According to the Vancouver Sun, the finalist, Jenna Talackova from Vancouver (above), was removed from the competition after pageant officials discovered that Talackova was born male and had sex reassignment surgery in 2010.
Although Talackova's profile was present on the Miss Universe Canada website just a few days ago, it was abruptly yanked last week. Last Friday, the Donald Trump-owned pageant organization issued a statement claiming that Talackova "did not meet the requirements to compete despite having stated otherwise on her entry form" (jeez, I didn't know there was a question on official pageant application forms that asked you if you were born with the "bun" or the "hot dog;" the more you know, I guess). They then went on to add they "respect her goals, determination and wish her the best."
Talackova has yet to issue a public statement on her exit from the pageant, and she's expected to release one next week after she consults with her lawyer. But I doubt that it's going to say anything much different than "Whatever, you guys suck and I'm hot and fabulous and definitions of what it means to be a woman and to have gender are fluid and rapidly changing, so you beauty-pageant bitches need to get with the program." So give it to 'em good, Talackova. They deserve it for continuing to hold onto antiquated ideas, and for spoiling my illusions about Degrassi being an accurate depiction of life in Canada.