Thank you to my friend and fierce civil rights activist Nancy Meade for inspiring me to write this article. Not a big surprise to TSM readers, but I really am usually very against any type of beauty contest for myriad reasons. I am particularly against the Miss Universe Contest because it is owned by the nefarious Donald Trump and his hair. All of this being said, I have to emphatically support Jenna Talakova if she chooses to re-enter the contest.
Ms. Talakova came under unfair scrutiny because of her transgender status and was initially disqualified from the Miss Universe Contest, until yesterday when they decided she could compete. Here is what is wrong with tolerance: it is based on “all that matters is my acceptance of you.” It is tantamount to saying, “I don’t mind that you are black; I don’t mind that you are gay.” This type of inequitable power structure serves to sustain and maintain a white heterosexual Christian male power structure. Gender identity is a complex notion that many people seem to have trouble grappling with, even good intentioned people. Ms. Talakova is a woman who wants to participate in the Ms. Universe Contest.
We still have so much education to do around gender identity and gender non-conformity. If you or anyone you know needs resources, I strongly encourage you to contact TransActive.