Jessica Yaniv speaks at a Langley Township council meeting in the spring of 2019. (Screengrab)

Estheticians can’t be forced to wax male genitals, B.C. tribunal rules

Langley transgender woman Jessica Yaniv was ordered to pay three salon owners $2,000 each

Warning: This article may offend some readers

The BC Human Rights Tribunal has dismissed a transgender woman’s complaints in a case about genital waxing that drew worldwide media attention.

Jessica Yaniv alleged that various Lower Mainland salons discriminated against her when they refused to provide her with waxing services, on the basis of gender identity and expression.

Yaniv had requested arm or leg waxing in two cases. In five others, she requested scrotum waxing, which the salon employees refused.

The tribunal did not agree that gender expression means intimate grooming services must be provided.

“In the genital waxing cases, I find that scrotum waxing was not a service customarily provided by the respondents,” wrote tribunal member Devyn Cousineau in the decision. “As such, they did not deny Ms. Yaniv a service and did not discriminate against her.”

The decision went on to say there is no difference between arm and leg waxing for men and women. But instead of reprimanding the salons for that, Cousineau said Yaniv filed the complaints for “improper purposes” – namely, the to target small businesses for financial gain.

Yaniv had targeted female salon employees, mostly minorities, often speaking English as a second language, who worked alone out of their homes or their clients’ homes, the decision said.

“Ms. Yaniv has engaged in a pattern of filing human rights complaints which target small businesses for personal financial gain and/or to punish certain ethnic groups, which she perceives as hostile to the rights of LGBTQ+ people.”

Only three of the people targeted by the complaints presented a defence. She was ordered to pay each of them $2,000 for her improper conduct.

Overall, the tribunal found that her testimony was “disingenuous and self-serving.”

“In cross-examination, she was evasive and argumentative, and contradicted herself,” said the ruling.

READ MORE: Controversial Langley transgender activist arrested over stun gun

Among other issues, Yaniv, who has previously identified as a trans woman, at one point during the hearing claimed to be intersex, which means someone who is born with genitalia that may be indeterminate or have elements of both male and female genitalia. At other times, she referred to having “male parts.”

She used fake names to approach some of the women, or used the name “Jonathan” and a photo on social media that showed her with short hair and no makeup.

One of the women testified she didn’t refuse her because she was transgender, but because she was frustrated with multiple texts from Yaniv and didn’t feel comfortable keeping the appointment.

The salon owner cancelled the appointment, but Yaniv found the woman’s Facebook page and got it shut down by claiming the page didn’t use the woman’s real name. Yaniv also made repeated attempts to contact her at work, and via text and Facebook. The woman became afraid and contacted the police. She eventually shut down her business entirely.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Courtenay Hero Wall gives thanks to frontline workers

People wanting to thank frontline workers in the Comox Valley can add… Continue reading

Comox Valley Transition Society available for women who need help throughout pandemic

“We anticipate more women than usual will access our resources, but we do have plans in place.”

Clothing store in Courtenay closes doors after 23 years

Trousers owner Shelley Greenup says the time was right to say goodbye

Hip tradition sing-along planned again for Canadians April 2

The Tragically Hip’s Paul Langlois is encouraging all to join him virtually in a’Porch Session.’

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

Comox Valley grocers going extra mile during coronavirus

We have had numerous requests to post a fluid article directing consumers… Continue reading

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Tax collectors, auditors to help field ‘historic’ numbers of benefit-seeking callers

‘If you work for CRA, people think we are just there to take money from your pockets.’

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Advocates sound alarm over COVID-19 limiting access to contraceptives, abortion

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit sexual-health services from almost every angle

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Park users concerned about tree cutting in Comox conservation area

During a recent visit to the Northeast Woods in Comox, a woman… Continue reading

Most Read