A transgender woman filed a complaint that a home-based salon was discriminating against her because they refused to give her a Brazilian wax, which is the removal of hair in the 'down there' region of your body. The hearing turned into a session filled with outbursts and the lawyers battling back and forth, per a report on the National Post.
"At one point, the complainant compared the business owner to a neo-Nazi. The lawyer for the business owner accused the complainant of engaging in “half-truths and fabrications.” Tribunal adjudicator Devyn Cousineau frequently had to interject to maintain decorum and to keep the hearing from careening off course."
The person who complained is Jessica Yaniv, a man who is transitioning into a woman. She said at the hearing that she was 'entitled' to the brazilian wax service and that ruling against it could 'lead to a dangerous precedent.'
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Yaniv was quoted as saying, “You cannot choose who your clientele is going to be.
That didn't fly with the business owner, Marcia Da Silva, who claimed she was not comfortable doing a Brazilian wax on a person with the male genitalia and she didn't have the proper training to perform it on a male. Her lawyer said that ruling against her, the business owner, would be similar to a judge ordering someone to perform 'intimate services' on someone of the opposite sex and against their will.
Here's where it gets sticky, no pun intended (ok, it was definitely intended) - Yaniv, an LGBT activist, has made more than a dozen complaints suggesting that she's the victim of discrimination from multiple salons. Some of those complaints were actually settled before a hearing or withdrawn entirely.
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National Post said that "Yaniv also made headlines recently for engaging in a social media spat with free-speech advocate Lindsay Shepherd, in which they both made disparaging remarks about each other. Twitter subsequently banned Shepherd from the platform, but not Yaniv.
The tribunal had initially issued a publication ban shielding Yaniv’s identity, but on Wednesday Cousineau decided to lift the ban based on Yaniv’s social media presence and public advocacy.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Yaniv, who is representing herself, said she came upon a Facebook ad in spring 2018 offering a promotion for a Brazilian wax, which involves the removal of pubic hair around the groin."
The owner of this particular home-based salon, in Canada, was only performing the Brazilian waxes on her friends and family members. Then it appears she turned it into a business to bring in some extra revenue, totally not expecting a transgender to walk in and demand the same service.
Most people who get a Brazilian wax are women, so Da Silva likely did not expect to wax someone's testicles - nor should she be forced to offer a service she is not trained to perform, or quite frankly - uncomfortable doing.
No matter what happens with this particular hearing, there is still the question of "should a business be allowed to deny service on the basis of gender identity?"