VANCOUVER — Donald Trump has stepped in to overturn a decision by the Miss Universe Organization — which he owns — that would prevent a transgender Canadian beauty pageant contestant from competing because she was not "naturally born" a woman.


Jenna Talackova, a tall blond who underwent gender-reassignment surgery at age 19 and holds legal documents — including a passport, birth certificate and driver's licence — affirming her identity as a woman, wants pageant organizers to go further and drop eligibility rules she calls discriminatory.


The Vancouver-born Talackova, 23, was kicked out of the Miss Universe Canada competition last Friday after she was selected as one of 65 finalists. The winner of that contest, who ultimately will be crowned on May 19 in Toronto, will go on to represent Canada in the global Miss Universe Pageant later in the year.