Canadian transgender woman loses case against beauticians who refused Brazilian wax
A Canadian transgender woman has been accused of using human rights law for financial gain as she lost a landmark discrimination case over the refusal of several beauticians to provide her with waxing services.
The British Columbia human rights tribunal also said Jessica Yaniv – who identifies as a woman but has male genitalia – has used the law to punish minorities she deemed hostile to LGBT rights.
The court ordered Ms Yaniv to pay $2,000 in damages to each of the three respondents who testified at the hearings. All three are from minority backgrounds and work out of their own homes or in clients’ homes.
Two were forced to shutter their businesses due to the complaints, according to their lawyers. Most of the respondents do not speak English as their first language.
The court heard that in five cases, Ms Yaniv used Facebook messages to contact salons requesting a Brazilian wax, which are supposed to remove all pubic hair.
Expert testimony claimed that waxing male genitalia could pose a serious risk of injury if the provider has not received specific training.
Beauticians who appeared at the hearing, which took place over six days in July, claimed they declined to wax Ms Yaniv for a number of reasons, including religion and a lack of expertise.
Ms Yaniv argued that the refusals amounted to discrimination, in violation of British Columbia’s human rights code, which forbids the denial of services based on gender identity or expression.
“None of these providers had any issue with anything until I mentioned I was transgender,” Ms Yaniv told the court.
In 10 of 13 complaints she sought an apology and $3,000, as well as a statement from the tribunal prohibiting the refusal of waxing services based on discrimination.
Ultimately, the tribunal concluded that human rights legislation does not oblige a beautician to wax genitalia they have not consented or had training to wax.