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

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

Cariboo Art Beat artists Tiffany Jorgensen, left, Brittany Murphy, with her daughter Ruby, 3, and Sarah Sigurdson have created a Santa painting for photo opportunities that will be placed outside their studio on Oliver Street below Caribou Ski. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake artists create Santa painting for Christmas photo ops

Cariboo Art Beat hopes it will fill a void caused by COVID-19 restrictions

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
47 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

1,538 total cases, 399 are active, ten in hospital

The Bella Coola area also received a large dump of snow as seen here Friday, Nov. 27, but by the afternoon it had started to rain there. (submitted photo)
Update: More than 900 Bella Coola customers without power, expected to last overnight

Highway 20 remains closed between Anahim Lake and Bella Coola Friday, Nov. 27

More than 60 cm of snow has fallen at Ulkatcho First Nation since a snowfall warning went into effect Thursday, Nov. 26. (Ruby Squinas photo)
VIDEO: More than 60 cm of snowfall in Chilcotin since Thursday, Nov. 26

Graham West of Ulkatcho First Nation captures the scene on video

Newly elected Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson participated in a virtual oath ceremony with the BC Liberal Caucus on Friday, Nov. 27. Here he poses for a photograph with Kate Ryan-Lloyd, clerk of the legislature. (Screen image taken of YouTube live stream)
Cariboo Chilcotin MLA participates in BC Liberal Caucus virtual oath ceremony

First-time MLA Lorne Doerkson will represent the region

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Shoppers line up in front of a shop on Montreal’s Saint-Catherine Street in search of Black Friday deals in Montreal, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Black Friday shopping in a pandemic: COVID-19 closes some stores, sales move online

Eric Morris, head of retail at Google Canada, says e-commerce in Canada has doubled during the pandemic.

After twice have their wedding plans altered due to COVID-19 restrictions, Suzanne Schmidt and Andrew Sturgess got married in Bakerview Park last weekend, with the only guests being their two daughters, Zoey (foreground) and Tessa. (Darren Ripka photo)
From New Zealand to Bakerview Park, B.C. couple weds in ‘backyard’

Twice scaled-down wedding ‘proof that good things still happen during bad times’

Most Read