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

Top Cranbrook administration official resigns

CAO David Kim, who has been on medical leave since last summer, is leaving the City of Cranbrook

Mt. Baker RV Park in Cranbrook reopens

Just in time for summer, the Mount Baker RV Park in downtown… Continue reading

City seeking budget, services feedback through survey

The city wants to know how satisfied residents are with service levels… Continue reading

Rivers, creeks flooding across the East Kootenay due to rainstorm

Residents evacuated in Fairmont, other properties on alert due to debris flow concerns

Hometown heroes: Search and Rescue president Peter Reid

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kimberley Search and Rescue (SAR)… Continue reading

WATCH: Cranbrook Farmer’s Market kicks off 2020 season

The first market of the year took place on Saturday, May 30.

189 homes in Grand Forks area given evacuation orders

Homes are in the Nursery, Grand Forks Airport, Gilpin Rd., Johnson Flats and Granby Rd. areas

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

B.C. Hockey League prepping for 2020-21

League reviewing different scenarios and start times in compliance with provincial regulations

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

Most Read