Born Walter Talackova, now known as Jenna Talackova, the Miss Universe hopeful speaks with Barbara Walters on 20/20 Friday, opening up about her decision to undergo gender reassignment surgery at 19, and a preview of the highly anticipated chat aired on Good Morning America.
The interview comes just days after Miss Universe owner Donald Trump re-admitted Jenna into the Miss Canada qualifier following her disqualification in March.
Speaking with Walters about her surgery four years ago, Jenna said that “as soon as I was conscious, I just always knew that I was not what they were saying.
“It wasn’t right,” Jenna said about her time as a male, adding “I thought that I was in the wrong body.”
Jenna admitted the surgery was terribly painful, but being at one with her gender identity helped soothe any physical misery resulting from the procedure.
“Seeing something on your body for that long and not being able to look at myself in the mirror because I couldn’t stand seeing the other part, it was actually very rewarding, too,” Jenna tells Walters.
Jenna’s star is rising after Trump and Miss Universe let her back into the competition, and she said relishes the designation of being “an advocate” for the transgender community.
“I’ll take that position: If it’s helping anybody else, my story and my actions, then I feel great about it.”
Trump said the 23-year-old Talackova, “should focus on running up in Canada and seeing how she does in Canada.”
Walters’ exclusive interview with Talackova and her mother airs Friday on 20/20 at 10/9c.
Miss Universe Canada will be crowned in Toronto May 19.