Transgender Activist Sues Beauty Pageant For $10,000 For ‘Injury to Dignity and Feelings’

Jessica Yaniv, a biologically male transgender activist who identifies as female, has filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal in Ontario after he says that a beauty pageant discriminated against him and injured his “dignity and feelings.”

Yaniv alleges that he was not allowed to compete in the female-only Canada Galaxy 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 Human Rights Tribunal to rule that having male genitalia can no longer be the sole basis for refusing to allow someone to compete in a beauty pageant.

Justice Centre, the organization that is representing Galaxy Pageants, described Yaniv as a “serial complainant” based on the fact that in July 2019 he filed no less than 16 human rights complaints against salon workers who refused to wax his genitals. In December of that year, he also launched legal action against a gynecologist who refused to see him because he does not have female sex organs.

Beyond that, the Justice Centre says Yaniv 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 “genetic female” 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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