A Canadian small business owner was forced to close her home-based beauty salon after refusing to provide a Brazilian wax for a transgender woman's male genitalia.
Marcia Da Silva received a response about the opening of her new salon from Jessica Yaniv, a transgender activist, after previously only have provided services to family and friends. They initially agreed to an appointment via text message and Yaniv claimed that Da Silva canceled the session after she sent her a photo and identified as a transgender woman.
Yaniv filed over a dozen complaints with a British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, claiming she was discriminated against. "You cannot choose who your clientele is going to be,” Yaniv said while speaking in front of the Tribunal. The LGBT activist has demanded monetary compensation and condemned Da Silva's decision not to wax her genitalia as neo-Nazism.
"This is about businesses and individuals using their religion and culture to refuse service to protected groups because -they- don’t agree with it," Yaniv said in a tweet.
Da Silva said her refusal to wax Yaniv's genitalia was because of safety concerns raised by her husband, alleged harassment on Yaniv’s part, and discomfort carrying out a Brazilian wax on male genitalia.
Jay Cameron, a lawyer with the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, is representing Da Silva at the Tribunal.
“Some of my clients have been very significantly affected on a personal level. [Another client also] closed her business, she has been depressed, anxious, sleepless, and that has gone on for a period of many many months,” said Cameron.
“It is a very serious thing to launch a human rights complaint against a person. 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.”
Yaniv has said on Twitter that she will "never give up fighting for human rights equality".