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

Just Posted

Williams Lake RCMP investigating robbery

General duty officers and police dog services responded to complaint just after midnight July 11

Williams Lake man to be sentenced for Dawson Creek drug trafficking

Arin Joe Charleyboy was charged in September 2016, pleaded guilty in January 2018

COLUMN: Economic renewal is key

COLUMN: Let’s keep our eye on economic renewal and support small business

RANCH MUSINGS: When the sun shines, kids and calves

It is not easy to witness the birth of a calf especially in a herd on a spacious pasture

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Most Read