First of all, I don't think anybody who enters such a competition "loses." After all, there are plenty of women (including moi) who will never be in one.
Second, I have to admit that I feel it's a victory for me and lots of other people simply to see her in such a competition. After all, she had to overcome a lot of hassles and stonewalling to get there. Officials tried to bar her from the contest, even though there is no written rule--at least for Canada's contest-- stating that transgender women can't compete. So the officials who tried to keep her out were, to be charitable, afraid of something that even they couldn't explain to anyone. If I didn't want to be charitable, I'd say they're pure-and-simple bigots.
Judgments in such contests are subjective. So who's to say who is really the most beautiful, or most representative of Canada (or the universe) in such a contest? That said, I don't see how anyone could not find Ms. Talackova at least a little teensy weensy bit attractive.
Plus, she is articulate and outgoing. She seems friendly and intelligent. So it's no surprise that they crowned her Miss Congeniality. I've always suspected that pageant judges gave that title to the one they really wanted, but couldn't bring themselves, to crown Miss Universe (or Miss whatever).
So I declare her a winner. After all, we all know Miss Congeniality is really the one you want to know better!