Just a few weeks ago, Barbara Walters probably would not have had much interest in interviewing Miss Universe Canada contestant Jenna Talackova.
But once the Miss Universe Organization said Talackova could not compete in the pageant because she was not born female, she became a big story and is profiled by Walters tonight (6 April) on ABC's 20/20.
Earlier this week, pageant officials changed course and said the 23-year-old could compete after all. It's not yet known if she will but Talackova did open up to Walters about her journey from male to female.
She was just four years old when she realized she was in the wrong body.
'As soon as I was conscious, I just always knew that I was not what they were saying. It wasn’t right,' she said. 'I thought that I was in the wrong body.'
Within 10 years, she was taking female hormones. This led to her growing breasts and gave her skin a more feminine quality. By eighth grade, she had also grown her hair long and was wearing feminine pants.
This led to her being called names like 'tranny' and 'it.'
'People would just, walk, lurking around my locker, like, ‘I can’t believe it, oh my God,’' she told Walters.
But the furor surrounding her involvement in the pageant has helped Talackova become the advocate she believes she was born to be.
'I feel like the universe, the creator just put me in this position as an advocate,' she said. 'And now it’s like this, and I’ll take that position. If it’s helping anybody else, my story and my actions, then I feel great about it.'