This story is difficult to write.
It’s really hard to get my arms around it. I’m not sure how to approach it.
That’s probably how Marcia Da Silva felt when transgender Jessica Yaniv, a biological man who identifies as female, sought services from her salon and asked for a Brazilian wax on his very not female private parts.
When Yaniv demanded that he be handled according to Da Silva’s advertised wax service, Da Silva refused, saying she was not comfortable with waxing around male genitalia and had not been trained to navigate those waters.
Yaniv didn’t like the response, but it wasn’t entirely unexpected: One of Yaniv’s pastimes is finding salons that won’t provide a male part waxing and filing formal human rights complaints against the owners.
And since Yaniv lives in Canada, that’s a thing Yaniv gets to do.
According to the National Post, the hearing was intense. The British Columbian Human Rights Tribunal “devolved in repeated outbursts and name calling” as it considered Yaniv’s complaint.
During testimony, Yaniv went so far as to compare Da Silva to a “neo-Nazi.”
“The lawyer for [Da Silva] accused the complainant of engaging in ‘half-truths and fabrications,'” the Post reported. “Tribunal adjudicator Devyn Cousineau frequently had to interject to maintain decorum and to keep the hearing from careening off course.”
Ironically, the fear of careening off course is what started the whole mess.
The question before the tribunal — which is expected to rule in the case in a few weeks — was whether a business could deny service on the basis of gender identity. Yaniv, who was frustrated and likely unwaxed, argued that to allow businesses to do such a thing would be a “dangerous” precedent.
“You cannot choose who your clientele is going to be,” Yaniv said.
And since Yaniv lives in Canada, that’s a thing Yaniv gets to say.
Da Silva’s lawyer told the tribunal that “ruling against his client would be tantamount to ordering ‘intimate services’ against someone’s will.”
“Da Silva testified she had just started her home-based business after previously performing waxes on family and friends,” the Post reported. Yaniv was the first person to respond to her ad, according to Da Silva.
Yaniv, who has filed over a dozen of these complaints against salons, self-describes as a digital marketing expert and LGBTQ activist. In a recent non-waxing related activist episode, Yaniv engaged in an online war of words with free-speech advocate Lindsay Shepherd. As a result, Twitter banned Shepherd but not Yaniv.
Jessica Yaniv has ruined another life. This is a legitimately and objectively bad person. The bright side? We can now say this person’s name. The publication ban has been lifted.
— Barrett Wilson (@BarrettWilson6) July 18, 2019
Da Silva’s lawyer told the tribunal that Yaniv had used a misleading Facebook profile as a pregnant woman when she first inquired about the waxing. When asked why a Brazilian wax, a waxing service typically performed on women, was sought rather than a “brozilian,” a waxing performed on males, Yaniv claimed to have both sets of genitalia — a claim that Da Silva’s lawyer called “misleading” and a “fabrication.” Yaniv offered no evidence to prove the claim.
In what should have been one of the most obvious and determinative defenses to the tribunal, Da Silva said she had “no problem with LGBT” but that she was just not comfortable waxing male genitals.
Me neither, girl. I feel you.
Da Silva said the idea also did not sit well with her husband.
As a husband, I concur with her husband.
Further, Da Silva said she didn’t have any experience doing it and was put out and scared by the persistent messages she was receiving from Yaniv.
“For my safety, I said, ‘No,'” she told the tribunal.
Speaking of safety, I’ve never partaken in the activity that is a Brazilian (or brozilian) wax, so I cannot pretend to be an expert on such things. But I am certain of this: I don’t want some waxing newb learning the ropes when it’s my turn in the chair.
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