[UPDATED -1] The ruckus surrounding Canadian trans beauty contestant Jenna Talackova burying other trans stories

Jenna Talackova

THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — [UPDATE April 2, 2012 – Talackova might be back in the pageant. See below.] All the hype and hoopla in the mainstream media over the Jenna Talackova booting has pretty much wiped out coverage of other transgender-related stories for nearly an entire week. Those in the news business will know exactly what I’m talking about — with all the space given to the Jenna Talackova story, most everything else goes unreported. Indeed, there were a couple of stories I happenstance across by sheer luck — something that would not have happened during normal times.

While it is true more positive transgender awareness can come out of the Talackova story, and it is also true that some media outlets are giving coverage to a topic that they otherwise would never touch, however, in the grand scheme of things, there are topics of more vital importance to the well-being of trans people than this. Too bad they’re not getting the same attention.

But then, one cannot control which stories go hot (or viral). For sure, my stats show that the keyword “Jenna Talackova” set a new all-time total record for my blog — bringing more people to my site than any other keyword by a multiple of three! Maybe I shouldn’t complain.


UPDATE – April 2, 2012 – A statement from the pageant: The Miss Universe Organization will allow Jenna Talackova to compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions.”



My earlier post on Jenna Talackova:  Trans beauty contestant gets boot, trans man denied male dorm RA position « The Guerrilla Angel Report by Lexie Cannes.

Trans woman Jenna Talackova bumped from beauty pageant. Other trans news go unreported.


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Categories: Discrimination, Equality, Civil Rights, Transgender, Transsexual, Trans

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16 replies

  1. Jenna’s story has opened the door for me to tell my story of transition struggles, so i’m very happy with her story going viral. i was invited onto mainstream tv to interview about her, but at the same time, i got to talk about the many struggles transpeople face as a community.. the longer we can keep her in the news, the better! she’s a great example to show the world of what being transitioned is all about.

    • Thanks for commenting. You’ve a very valid point that others have noted elsewhere as well. Good luck to you!

      • as trans advocates and trans journalists, we need to constantly adjust our media strategies depending on the issue of the day. i generally had no use for beauty pageants, but i jumped all over this as soon as i realized it was story that had gone viral. i immediately became an ‘expert’ on all things to do with the issue… now that the dust has settled, it will be important for us all to learn from the Jenna situation, and grow and expand upon this opportunity to further our issues even more.

  2. I totally agree with Jennifer, and while you make a valid point, Lexie, truthfully, how many trans related stories are in maistream media at any given time? Even the recent horrific murders went underreported and the victims were mocked or misgendered. Jenna is getting us good press and an opening for others, like Jennifer McGrath to speak about real issues that concern us. I say the longer Jenna Talackova is in the news, the better!

    • Each day, generally there are about 8 or more different trans stories (with each of these stories having any number of different sources — not all are from mainstream media) — there are some duplications in the listings, especially when different angles of the same story is covered. Not all stories are have redeeming value or even be factually correct. But one can generally count on a handful of new info each day. When the Jenna Talackova story broke, for almost an entire week, almost every “story” was about Talackova told from one angle or another, each having a couple dozen different sources. A check earlier showed 300+ Talackova stories in just the last few days. I didn’t check for a count at its peak earlier in the week.

      I suppose we can hitch a ride on these unexpected “viral” stories and squeeze all the positive PR out of it, but I worry about backlash — we’re all less than perfect and no doubt there are those that will attempt to dig up dirt (truthful or not) on Jenna and not everyone is prepared to deal with it in the media. Hopefully she has connected with trans leaders for advice on dealing with this new found fame.

      This is just my 2 cents and I’m open to all comments on everything I write about!


  3. What are some of the other trans related stories being buried by all the attention on Talachova?

  4. Yes, Jennas story has wiped out coverage of many other transgender-related stories. Fortunately the great majority of this coverage has been positive, or at least respectful, and that is very good for advancing acceptance and equality for our community.

    I look at this publicity as a great opportunity to convince people to reexamine their perspective, and I know we can win the support of many simply because one of our sisters is courageous enough to challenge the status quo.

    Also, without all this media attention to Miss Talackova, we might have had more attention to stories about Cristina Cracraft. I could be wrong, but I wouldn’t expect as much of that coverage to be positive or respectful because more people would have a knee-jerk reaction along the lines of “OMG, she works with children; we don’t want our children to be like that”. One comment on the KRQE story said “The victims in this are the students.These are elementary school students that need to be protected”, and that is the skew I would expect most people to take.

    On the other hand, we shouldn’t ignore Cristinas story either. We should search for relevant coverage and post comments in support of her.


  1. Transgender beauty contestant Jenna Talackova — new photos, new complaints « The Guerrilla Angel Report by Lexie Cannes
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  3. Courtney O’Donnell: Why I Did An About-Face And Boarded The Jenna Talackova PR Train | Rumors & News | Information Without Filters!
  4. Why I Did an About-Face and Boarded the Jenna Talackova PR Train » Transvestite Ireland

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