Jenna Talackova

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Jenna Talackova
Talackova in July 2012
Talackova as grand marshal of the 2012 Vancouver Pride parade
BornOctober 15, 1988 (1988-10-15) (age 33)
OccupationModel, television personality
Known forMiss Universe Canada pageant competitor

Jenna Talackova (born October 15, 1988)[1] is a Canadian model and television personality, who gained media attention in 2012 when she successfully waged a legal battle to be allowed to compete in the Miss Universe Canada after being initially disqualified for being transgender.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Talackova was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia.[2] Her father is Czech,[4] and her mother is a member of the Babine First Nation, from the Lake Babine Nation in British Columbia.[5]

She experienced gender dysphoria beginning in early childhood, and began her gender transition at age 14, while attending Vancouver's Killarney Secondary School,[5] before completing her sex reassignment surgery at 19.[2] She initially took the name "Page" when she began transitioning, before changing it again to Jenna.[5]

Talackova is currently a student of holistic nutrition.[2]

Miss Universe Canada[edit]

After previously competing in the 2010 Miss International Queen pageant for transgender and transsexual women in Thailand,[6] Talackova registered to compete in Miss Universe Canada 2012.[7] Sources are in conflict as to whether she identified herself as transgender on her application; however, after she was selected as one of the Top 65 applicants who would proceed to the pageant, a person who recognized her from Miss International Queen contacted the Miss Universe Canada organizers, and the organization then disqualified Talackova on the grounds that the pageant rules required its competitors to be "naturally born" women.[6]

Talackova subsequently contacted lawyer Gloria Allred, who took on the case and challenged the pageant organizers, including future president Donald Trump in his capacity as owner of the international Miss Universe organization, to reverse the decision and allow Talackova to compete.[8] The organization reversed its decision before the case reached the courts, with Trump's office issuing a statement that "as 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."[7]

At the pageant on May 19, 2012, Talackova made it into the Top 12, but failed to reach the Top 5.[9] She was, however, one of four contestants awarded the title of Miss Congeniality.[9] Talackova was named co-grand marshal of the 2012 Vancouver Pride Parade in recognition of her fight to be in the Miss Universe pageant.[10]


A reality show based around her life, Brave New Girls, was filmed in summer 2013 as Talackova moved to Toronto to pursue a modeling career.[11] The series, produced by Peacock Alley Entertainment, premiered on E! Canada in January 2014.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Talackova is a vegan and appeared in a PETA ad campaign promoting the diet.[13]


  1. ^ "Jenna Talackova: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". heavy. 14 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "Jenna Talackova, transgendered Miss Universe Canada contestant, shines in spotlight". Toronto Star, May 18, 2012.
  3. ^ "21 Transgender People Who Influenced American Culture". Time Magazine.
  4. ^ "Transsexuálka, která změnila pravidla Miss Universe, je napůl Češka". Revue iDNES, April 19, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c "Jenna Talackova’s journey from First Nation to Miss Universe contestant". National Post, April 5, 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Transgendered contestant's ouster from Miss Universe Canada sparks outrage over ‘natural born' rule". Toronto Star, March 27, 2012.
  7. ^ a b "Jenna Talackova’s Miss Universe Canada bid could be back on after Donald Trump steps in". National Post, April 4, 2012.
  8. ^ "Jenna Talackova — armed with a high-profile lawyer — fires back at Miss Universe Canada". National Post, April 3, 2012.
  9. ^ a b "Transgender contestant falls short at Miss Universe Canada". CBC News, May 19, 2012.
  10. ^ Reynolds, Christopher (2012-07-16). "Transgendered Jenna Talackova, would-be Miss Universe, to helm Vancouver's Pride Parade". Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  11. ^ Oved, Marco Chown (May 4, 2013). "Transgender model Jenna Talackova gets reality TV gig". Waterloo Region Record. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  12. ^ "Jenna Talackova shares life after Miss Universe on Brave New Girls". Toronto Star, January 16, 2014.
  13. ^ Aasim Raza, "Jenna Talackova Unveils Racy PETA Ad And Promotes Vegan Diet," Vancouver Observer, 23 January 2014.

External links[edit]