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Miss Universe pageant to allow transgender women

Jenna Talackova Jenna Talackova (R) arrives for a press conference in Los Angeles with her attorner Gloria Allred (out of frame) on April 3, 2012. Donald Trump's Miss Universe contest on April 10, 2012 threw open its doors to transgender models, saying men who have had a sex change deserved the same treatment as any other women. The transgender contestants will be able to strut their stuff in the international beauty championships, starting with pioneering sex-change model Jenna Talackova, who will be allowed to take part this year. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
Associated Press / April 11, 2012
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NEW YORK - Transgender women will be allowed to participate in the Miss Universe beauty pageant next year, officials announced Tuesday, a week after they ruled a trail-blazing 23-year-old could vie for the crown this year.

Pageant officials said they are working on the language of the official policy change but expected final word to come soon.

The move comes five days after the organization said that Jenna Talackova could compete in the Miss Universe pageant this year. Talackova, a Vancouver resident, underwent a sex change four years ago after being born a male. The advocacy group GLAAD had called on the Miss Universe Organization to review her case, as well as open the competition to transgender women.

“We want to give credit where credit is due, and the decision to include transgender women in our beauty competitions is a result of our ongoing discussions with GLAAD,’’ said Paula Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization.

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