Vancouver's transgendered Miss Universe Canada contestant Jenna Talackova gestures as Miss Universe Canada contestants visit St. John Vianney Catholic School in Toronto on Tuesday May 15, 2012. Talackova says she's proud to be opening the door for other transgender pageant hopefuls who may want to follow in her footsteps. Talackova ignited a media firestorm after she was initially disqualified from the pageant because she isn't a naturally born female. Pageant owner Donald Trump overruled the decision and said Talackova could take part.

Vancouver's transgendered Miss Universe Canada contestant Jenna Talackova gestures as Miss Universe Canada contestants visit St. John Vianney Catholic School in Toronto on Tuesday May 15, 2012. Talackova says she's proud to be opening the door for other transgender pageant hopefuls who may want to follow in her footsteps. Talackova ignited a media firestorm after she was initially disqualified from the pageant because she isn't a naturally born female. Pageant owner Donald Trump overruled the decision and said Talackova could take part.

Jenna Talackova Makes History as First Transgender Miss Universe Canada Contestant

First Nation transgender beauty Jenna Talackova is set to compete in Miss Universe Canada on Saturday May 19, having won reinstatement to the pageant after her disqualification in April for being born male.

Of Lake Babine Nation heritage, Talackova is making history as the first-ever transgender contestant in the pageant, whose winner will head to Miss Universe, to take place June 3 in Las Vegas.

The Vancouver resident has extended family on the Lake Babine Nation reserve, where she spends ample time during the year, attending festivals and ceremonies, according to reports. Since being disqualified she has become arguably the most famous of the 62 contestants who will compete this weekend. The 23-year-old lithe blonde appeared with Barbara Walters on 20/20, as well as on The View, in her battle to be allowed back into the pageant. Miss Universe owner Donald Trump eventually reversed the decision to allow Talackova to compete.

Pageant events start tonight with swimsuit and evening gown competitions before 15 judges in Toronto, with a live audience.

Winning a crown would give her “the power of inspiring others to fulfill their dreams,” Talackova said in her contestant interview, below. “The Miss Universe Canada organization has been amazing. For them to have accepted the fact that I’m competing and paving the way for equality is so honorable to me and makes me very grateful.”

Talackova’s ambitions don’t stop with Miss Universe. She also wants to model for Victoria’s Secret and adorn the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue, as she says in the interview below with Xtra! Canada’s LGBT news network. Below that, see her official contestant interview released by Miss Universe Canada.

The pageant will be livestreamed on the Miss Universe Canada site.

Here’s more Indian Country Today Media Network coverage on Jenna Talackova.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-uTFWtmlDg[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkA4Wq5dCb4[/youtube]

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Jenna Talackova Makes History as First Transgender Miss Universe Canada Contestant

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