This trans woman was refused a Brazilian wax because she hasn’t had gender reassignment surgery
A transgender woman has spoken of being refused a Brazilian wax because she has not undergone gender reassignment surgery.
Karen Parker said she booked the wax at Brazilica in Brunswick, Australia, as a birthday present to herself in October 2015.
But on arriving at the venue, and when the staff member realised Parker had not undergone gender reassignment surgery, she refused to wax her.
“She said ‘Let’s get started’, I took the towel off, she looked at me in horror,” Parker told BuzzFeed News. “I felt really humiliated.”
Parker explained she had specified that she is transgender when making the booking, and nobody had indicated it would be a problem.
Parker said the waxer then went to get the manager, who explained they did not have the training to wax “male genitals”.
The owner of Brazilica told BuzzFeeed that the waxing parlour often accepts trans clients, but that they “don’t offer male genital waxing”.
“It’s not on our menu… In the same way we don’t offer a manicure, a pedicure, or anything else. We’re not trained, we’re not set up to do it.”
Locke denied that the case was related to gender identity.
But Parker says she was left “insulted” by the response from Brazilica after she sent in a complaint.
“We state the waxing we do on our menu and website and male Brazilians are amongst a range of services we don’t offer,” Locke wrote in response to Parker’s complaint.
“It would have been negligent for your therapist to go ahead at your insistence and wax an area of the body we hadn’t trained her in… We assumed when you emailed for your appointment that you were post-op,” Locke added.
After making a complaint directly, Parker was advised by Transgender Victoria to take the case to the Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.
But Brazilica refused to participate in the voluntary dispute resolution process.
After seeking legal aid, AUD$1,000 was awarded to Parker in damages, and Brazilica would have been made to specify that it does not provide Brazilians for transgender women who have not undergone gender reassignment surgery.
But the settlement fell through, and a lawyer acting for the waxing parlour wrote: “My client will not be engaging in any further settlement discussions with Ms Parker in relation to this matter”.
Speaking to BuzzFeed, Locke said she had not been informed that the settlement had been withdrawn and said: “To my knowledge, it’s still all on the table.”
Parker says she wants to pursue the case “directly” because she wouldn’t want someone else to undergo the same treatment because of their gender identity.
“My body doesn’t match up to their expectations as a female,” she added.
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“I’ve had hormone replacement therapy, I’ve feminised myself in various ways, but I haven’t had full surgery.”
“I like to think I’m an attractive person, but when I was in that room, I felt so ugly.”
Brazilica’s website currently reads: “Our therapists are highly trained and constantly updating their skills. We cater to all women and men, from the arch in your brow to the rogue hair on your toe and everything in between. Our therapists are specially trained to help you deal with excessive hair caused by PCOS, hormones, pregnancy or any reason at all!
“We specialise in Brazilians and brows. Our Brazilians are gentle and thorough and we focus on after care to ensure your comfort between waxes. Our BROW BAR is the fastest way to transform your look. We give you the best possible brow for your face shape and style. Your brows are our art! Drop in anytime or book ahead for this expert service.
“Everybody is welcome at Brazilica.”