A transgender woman who was previously barred from competing for Canada’s spot in the Miss Universe pageant has been cleared to do so after pageant-runner Donald Trump gave the thumbs-up.

Jenna Talackova, 23, who was born male and underwent gender-reassignment surgery four years ago, had been disqualified under pageant rules stating all contestants must be “naturally born” females.

But after taking her story to the press and hiring famed attorney Gloria Allred, Trump issued the go-ahead on Tuesday, saying in a statement that he wished Talackova “the best of luck in her quest for the crown.”

The Miss Universe organization said Talackova could enter the pageant “provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions.” Talackova’s passport, birth certificate and driver’s license all list her as female.

“I am a woman,” she said. “I have never asked for any special consideration. I only wanted to compete.”

She and Allred are pressing the pageant to eliminate the rule that initially kept her from vying for the title. “I do not want any other woman to suffer the discrimination that I have endured,” Talackova said.

[Washington Post]