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transgender beauty queen on 20/20

In this episode of 20/20 from 2012, anchor Barbara Walters sat down with Jenna Talackova, a transgender model and television personality, along with her mother. Talackova was denied entry into the Miss Universe Canada because she was born a male. After the threat of legal action, Talackova prevailed and was able to compete in the competititon. In this interview, Jenna and her mother describe her experience as a transgender woman, including her transition into a female body through sex reassignment surgery and other means.


What does the case of Jenna Talackova tell us about what it means to be a “boy” or a “girl”? Consider the biological, psychological, legal and social forces at play in this case.

What does the controversy surrounding Jenna’s entrance into the Miss Universe Canada contest say about the state of transgender issues and acceptance of transgender people today?

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