TORONTO, ON - Jenna Talackova, the Canadian beauty queen who rose to fame earlier this year after being expelled from Donald Trump's Miss Universe Canada Pageant for having undergone transgender medical procedures, has launched a petition on Change.org as well as a video appeal, at www.youtube.com/watch, in defense of trans people everywhere.
The petition asks the World Health Organization (WHO) to immediately remove transsexualism from its list of mental disorders. In just over one week, more than 40,000 people have signed on to the campaign which can be found at www.change.org/notsick. A WHO working group is currently revising the classification and activists hope the campaign will result in a new list that does not include transsexualism.
"As a woman who fought for a trans-inclusive Miss Universe competition, I'm so glad I can help bring attention to this issue," said Talackova. "My hope is that the World Health Organization will listen to everyone signing our petition on Change.org and that we can make this huge step toward eliminating discrimination against trans people."
Gloria Allred, a prominent American discrimination attorney, famous for taking on and winning high profile cases representing the rights of lesbian, gay, and transgender people, has supported the campaign saying, "It is long overdue for the World Health Organization to remove transsexualim from the list of mental disorders." In her video, at www.youtube.com/watch, Allred explains the negative impacts of the WHO label and how she believes it "serves to increase the discrimination that those who are transsexual already suffer in their everyday lives."
After Jenna was kicked out of the Miss Universe Canada pageant, a student in New York started a Change.org petition for her demanding Donald Trump and Pageant officials re-instate her. After tens of thousands of people signed this petition and others like Gloria Allred worked on her behalf, Jenna was allowed to participate.
This WHO campaign is part of an international initiative supported in various countries by other prominent trans celebrities, politicians and activists, including Vladimir Luxuria in Italy, Carla Antonelli in Spain, Gregorie Rochelle in France, Kim Schicklang Valentijn de Hinhg in the Netherlands, and Maxwell Zachs in the UK. An international video message can be found at the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qomHE9qkG4&feature=plcp.
Live signature totals from Jenna Talackova's campaign campaign: www.change.org/notsick .
For more information on Change.org, please visit: http://www.change.org/about.
Change.org is the world's fastest-growing platform for social change growing by nearly two million new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country.