An immigrant woman who operated a Brazilian waxing business in Canada was forced to shut down after being taken to court for refusing to wax a transgender’s male genitalia. Fifteen other female business owners have been taken to court by the same man, who is alleging discrimination based on gender identity.
Canadian business owner and immigrant from Brazil Maria Da Silva was forced to shut down her waxing business after being taken to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal for refusing to wax a transgender’s male genitalia, according to a report by the Post Millennial.
Da Silva said that the claims made by the transgender — who goes by the name Jessica Yaniv — have forced her to shut down her business that she had been operating out of her home, and has caused her to lose a source of income for her family.
“Some of my clients have been very significantly affected on a personal level,” said Da Silva’s attorney Jay Cameron, who added that another client was also forced to close her business. “She has been depressed, anxious, sleepless and that has gone on for a period of many many months.”
Da Silva says that she did not refuse to perform the service due to the client identifying as a woman, but rather, due to safety concerns.
“It is a very serious thing to launch a human rights complaint against a person,” said Cameron, “My clients are people. They have a right to make a living and this has interfered with their livelihood, but also you have the stigma of being associated with this hanging over you.”
Cameron told the judge on Wednesday that many of Yaniv’s accusations have specifically targeted women from ethnic and religious minority groups.
“The people that discriminated against me are forcing their beliefs on society,” said Yaniv, who claims that religious and cultural views should not interfere with a business providing a service, and that beauticians should be required to perform waxing procedures on men identifying as women.
A publication ban prohibiting media from reporting on the case was lifted during Wednesday’s hearing after the presiding tribunal member had cited public interest and Yaniv’s online activity about the case as reasons for removing the ban, noted the Post Millennial.
“I don’t think that somebody making complaints to the scale that the complainant is making should be able to hide behind a publication ban and then publicly discuss the cases online,” said Cameron.
This is not the first time women have ended up in news headlines after making contact with Yaniv. Earlier this week, free speech activist Lindsay Shepherd was banned from Twitter after engaging with Yaniv in an online argument, which reportedly began after he made derogatory comments about Shepherd’s genitalia, as well as her infant son.
Shepherd also noted that Yaniv had successfully gotten other users banned from Twitter in the past. Last year, prominent Canadian feminist Meghan Murphy was reportedly banned from Twitter after an Internet spat with him.
Yaniv has reportedly taken fifteen other female business owners — many of whom are of East Asian ethnicity with English as their second language — to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal for the same reasons, in which he alleges discrimination based on gender identity.