A Brazilian immigrant to Canada has been forced to shut down her body waxing business after she refused to wax the male genitals of a transgender activist.
Jessica Yaniv, formerly known as Jonathan Yaniv, is a biological male who identifies as a woman.
The Post Millennial reports that Yaniv filed a complaint with the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal last year after Marcia Da Silva refused to wax him. Yaniv argued that the mother of two discriminated against him on the basis of sex and he is now demanding financial restitution.
Da Silva, who operated her business out of her own home, said she refused to serve Yaniv due to safety concerns and alleged harassment from him, not because he is transgender.
Da Silva told the tribunal during last week's proceedings that the ordeal has forced her to shut down her business and it is not longer a source of income for her family.
Sixteen Other Victims
She isn't the only one who has been targeted by Yaniv. The transgender activist also filed complaints against 15 other British Columbian estheticians for refusing to wax his genitalia.
According to Jay Cameron, an attorney from the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, most of the women are low-income immigrants.
"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," Cameron said.
"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 told the tribunal that business owners cannot choose who they serve.
"You cannot choose who your clientele is going to be," he said, claiming that Da Silva's decision to not wax him is a form of neo-Nazism.
"This is not about waxing. This is about businesses and individuals using their religion and culture to refuse service to protected groups because -they- don't agree with it or the person and use that to illegally discriminate contrary to the BC Human Rights Code and the CHRC," Yaniv later tweeted.
This is not about waxing. This is about businesses and individuals using their religion and culture to refuse service to protected groups because -they- don't agree with it or the person and use that to illegally discriminate contrary to the BC Human Rights Code and the CHRC. https://t.co/34XIklXXbh
— Jessica Yaniv (@trustednerd) July 18, 2019
A Twitter Ban
Yaniv's case has also had permanent consequences for at least one other woman.
Canadian free speech activist Lindsay Shepherd was permanently suspended from Twitter after she confronted Yaniv about his actions online.
Shephard claims Yaniv was making vulgar and disparaging comments about her body on Twitter.
"I replied saying that if he's trying to sound like a woman, this is not the way to do it, as he sounds more like a man who doesn't have a functional relationship," Shephard told Spiked.
"It was incoherent, but so is he. I responded and that's what got me banned."
Shephard was suspended from the platform shortly after. Although Twitter never told her which tweets resulted in her suspension, Shephard says she violated Twitter's terms of service by "misgendering" Yaniv online by calling him a man instead of a woman.
Misgendering someone is referring to a transgender or non-binary individual according to their biological sex.
"I misgendered Yaniv and that technically should result in punishment. But it is something to think about that Twitter is saying that in order to be on our platform, you have to accept the gender ideology du jour. If you don't, you'd better shut up or get off our platform."
Yaniv applauded Shephard's suspension from Twitter, saying, "time to throw a party!"
Yaniv also said in a pinned tweet that he is a "proud lesbian" who will "never give up fighting for human rights equality."
— Jessica Yaniv (@trustednerd) June 16, 2019
Meanwhile, a number of women have started a GoFundMe account to raise money for the 16 women Yaniv has filed human rights complaints against.
Their goal is to raise $70,000, which amounts to approximately $5,000 for each woman after paying GoFundMe's service fees. So far, they have raised about $5,000.