Biologically male transgender activist files human rights complaint against beauty pageant for discrimination

by Peter Heck · Oct 29th, 2020 9:54 am

Last Updated Oct 31st, 2020 at 1:15 am

Jessica Yaniv, a biologically male transgender activist who identifies as a woman, has filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal in Ontario after he says that Canada Galaxy Pageants discriminated against him. Yaniv says he was prevented from participating in the female-only pageant because he has male genitals.

The complaint alleges "discrimination on the basis of gender identity, gender expression, and sex," and seeks $10,000 in damages for "injury to dignity and feelings." Yaniv also wants the tribunal to rule that possessing male genitalia can no longer be the sole basis for turning away any pageant participant in Canada.

Justice Centre, the organization that is representing Galaxy Pageants, called Yaniv a "serial complainant" based on the fact that in July 2019 he filed 16 human rights complaints against salon workers who would not wax his genitals. In December of that year, he also sought restitution after a gynecologist refused to see him.

Beyond that, the Justice Centre says he lied on his pageant application:

"Yaniv has male genitals and was born a biological male, but now self-identifies as female. In May 2019, Yaniv applied to be a contestant in the Pageant, and was tentatively accepted. Yaniv did not mention being transgender prior to applying. At the time, Canada Galaxy Pageants had a formal policy of accepting genetic females as contestants, but would still accept transgender females who had fully transitioned and no longer had male genitals. This policy was noted in all paperwork and on the website. The pageant's policy has since been revised to include "genetic females and fully transitioned."

The pageant has defended the policy on the basis that their contest includes girls as young as 6 years, who all share a common dressing room.

"Biological women and girls must continue to have the freedom to associate with other biological women and girls in activities that serve their unique interests and needs as females," said Justice Centre counsel Allison Kindle Pejovic.


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