News / Vancouver

Transgendered Miss Universe contestant to lead Vancouver Pride Parade

The first transgendered person to compete in a Miss Universe pageant will be blazing a new trail as this year’s Pride Parade grand marshal.

Pride organizers announced that Vancouver beauty queen Jenna Talackova will be leading festivities at the annual parade through the West End Aug. 5.

“Jenna, a local Vancouverite, refused to be discriminated against and fought alongside top feminist lawyer, Gloria Allred, to be treated fairly and equally,” organizers say on the parade’s website.

Talackova became a household name and made international headlines after initially being disqualified from the Miss Universe Canada pageant for not being a naturally born woman.

But public pressure eventually forced Miss Universe and its owner, Donald Trump, to rewrite their rules to allow transgendered people to compete.

Talackova made it to the Top 12 in the Miss Universe Canada pageant earlier this year and won the Miss Congeniality award.

Joining Talackova as grand marshal is Bill Monroe, a long-time advocate for queer sport, co-founder of the Starry Night fundraiser for People with AIDS, and renowned female impersonator.

David Holtzman, the former director of A Loving Spoonful and the Vancouver Queer Film festival, has also be given the honour posthumously.

The community leader and activist died earlier this year from a heart attack while vacationing in California.

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