Trans Miss Universe Canada Contestant Finishes In Top 12

Jenna Talackova made a little bit of history this weekend. After successfully challenging the Miss Universe Canada pageant to welcome transgender contestants such as herself, she placed in the top 12 finalists and tied for Miss Congeniality. Some were concerned her story was stealing the spotlight, but the controversy also brought more attention to the pageant in general. Talackova was unfazed by the loss, telling CNN she was unconcerned about whether or not her gender identity affected the judges’ decision:

TALACKOVA: Who’s to say? I think I worked very hard. All of us ladies worked so hard and we gave it our best shot. The judges see something in those top five, and that’s fine. I wouldn’t have changed anything. […] I’m a little tired, but I’m not down. For a couple of seconds, I was a little bummed out, but after, like, a couple of minutes I was just extremely happy. I was so proud of myself. I made sure I did my best performance.

If the photos of her competition are any indication, she truly shined, proving there was never a good reason to keep her out of the pageant to begin with: