Transgender Miss Universe Canada Contestant Jenna Talackova Places in Top 12, Wins Miss Congeniality Award

Beauty queen then failed to make to the final five, but told reporters she was "so proud of myself. I made sure I did my best performance"

By Rebecca Macatee May 21, 2012 4:05 PMTags
Jenna TalackovaCHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/Getty Images

Jenna Talackova didn't take home the Miss Universe Canada crown, but she did win a victory for the transgender community.

The 23-year-old Vancouver resident, who was born a male but underwent a sex change operation four years ago, was the first-ever transgender contestant to compete in the Miss Universe Canada pageant on Saturday. She placed in the top 12, but then failed to make it to the final five.

She was, however, awarded the title of Miss Congeniality, which she shared with three other women. This was voted upon by her fellow contestants.

Talackova was originally disqualified from competing in the pageant because she was not a natural-born female. After a massive protest and media frenzy, however, the Miss Universe Organization, owned by Donald Trump, allowed Talackova to compete.

The blond beauty told reporters Sunday after the pageant she was "a little tired, but I'm not down."

"For a couple of seconds, I was a little bummed out," she said. "But after, like, a couple of minutes I was just extremely happy. I was so proud of myself. I made sure I did my best performance."

Sahar Biniaz, an actress from Vancouver, ultimately took home the title and will represent Canada at the Miss Universe pageant in December.