A Canadian transgender woman has filed a human rights complaint after being denied an appointment for a Brazilian wax at a salon in Surrey, British Columbia, The Province reported.
A transgender woman contacted the Mint Tanning Lounge through Facebook and requested a waxing appointment. Then-aesthetician at the salon, Shelah Poyer, replied to the request, "Not for men sorry," according to the report. A Brazilian wax removes all the hair from a person's groin area.
Now, the transgender woman has filed a complaint against the salon with the B.C. Human Rights Tribune, an independent body that represents people who believe they've been discriminated against.
The transgender woman, who is only identified as "JY," is seeking $2,500 and an apology from the salon, The Province reported.
It's one of 15 complaints JY has filed against salons from Vancouver to Abbotsford, according to The Bridgehead.
What's the story?
The Facebook exchange took place in March after JY said she saw a Facebook ad for waxing services, according to The Province.
“Hi there, where are you located?” JY asked in a message to Mint.
“Clayton Heights,” Poyer answered.
“Awesome! Do you do Brazilians?” JY asked.
“Not for men sorry,” Poyer wrote.
“I’m actually female. I transitioned a while ago,” she replied.
Then JY asked for an appointment but received no response.
What else did JY say?
The complainant told The Bridgehead on Wednesday that she had requested appointments from 18 salons in March and April. Of the 18 salons, only three agreed to provide services to her.
“That really got to me. I shouldn’t have to do this amount of work to get a leg wax or a Brazilian wax. I shouldn’t have to scour to find a salon willing to do … what is customarily available to the public,” she told the outlet. “It hurts … if everywhere I go, I get shut down for who I am.”
What did the salon say?
Lawyers at the Calgary-based Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, who are representing Poyer, issued a statement Wednesday.
Poyer was not trained, nor did she have the supplies, to perform a "Manzilian" wax on the transgender woman, lawyer John Carpay said in the statement. A manzilian is the male equivalent of a Brazillian wax.
“As such, she is unqualified and unable to provide the service," he wrote, according to The Province.
Jeremy Paradis, Poyer's boyfriend, was also named in the complaint and is being represented by the firm.
Paradis has been accused of harassing the JY but he claims that the harassment was the other way around.
“Please stop harassing my gf or we will take further action [police] she explained to you what she does and does not do. Do not call her work again and don’t bother messaging me back. Get a life when someone says no move on," Paradis wrote in a text message to the transgender woman, The Province reported.
JY replied to Paradis' message that she wasn't harassing anyone and just wanted to find out Poyer's availability for an advertised service.
“You did harass her over and over she didn’t respond and you call her work get a f—— life,” Paradis responded. “I’ll be posting about you on my own account. I have all the proof of harassment. “
A hearing about the incident is scheduled on Oct. 4, according to JY's lawyer.
“The complainant wants to punish our client and compel her to pay a fine,” JCCF lawyer told The Province in an email. “We do not agree that this is appropriate, so it must go to a hearing.”
The other 14 complaints are still pending, the lawyer said.