Transgender Man Sues Barbershop For Refusing Him Service
Gloria Allred has filed a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of a transgender man who was denied services at a barbershop. According to the lawsuit, Rose Trevis, a transgender male, and Trevis’ domestic partner Laura Lozano were walking in Long Beach on March 4 when they came upon Hawleywood’s Barber Shop & Shaving Parlor. Hawleywood’s was open for business, and Trevis decided he wanted to get a haircut.
He was told that Hawleywood’s only provided services to customers with appointments, so Trevis asked if there were any available that day. The barber then stared at Trevis, as if he was examining his appearance, and said “We don’t cut women’s hair,” according to the suit.
Trevis was surprised by the barber’s response. “Who says I’m a woman?” he asked.
“Like I said, we don’t cut women’s hair,” he was told. According to the suit, the barber walked to the back of the shop and summoned another employee, who proceeded to repeat the same conversation with Trevis. Trevis told the employees that refusing to provide services was discrimination, at which point the second barber told him that Hawleywood’s has “the right to refuse services to anyone,” and that they were “an old school barbershop,” and therefore did not provide services to women. When Trevis and Lozano tried to point out that the policy was illegal, the second barber said “I don’t care.”
Trevis and Lozano eventually left the shop, sans haircut. “I was greeted and denied services due to my gender and on account of what the barbers perceived to be my gender,” Trevis said in a statement. “I felt humiliated, discriminated against and frowned upon.”
On its website, Hawleywood’s describes itself as a “men’s sanctuary,” writing the “one thing you won’t see at Hawleywood’s is women. You all know how distracting a woman can be and who wants a straight razor shave with a buxom blonde in the joint?”
Allred’s suit alleges discrimination based on gender and perceived gender, in violation of California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act. She is also seeking an injunction mandating that the barbershop eliminate its gender-discrimination policy.
“It is 2016 and neither Rose nor I will tolerate the type of discrimination that [he] was forced to suffer,” Allred wrote in a statement.
Hawleywood’s website says that entering the barbershop “feels like stepping into a timewarp,” and it seems that the statement unfortunately applies to more than just the vintage waiting chairs and the old-fashioned two-tone brown floors.
Update 6:01 p.m.: LAist has received a statement from Bryan R. Kazarian, general counsel for Hawleywood's, who alleges that no discrimination occurred:
We are informed and believe that a customer entered our establishment and requested an appointment for a haircut on a "walk-in" basis at the above date and location. An appointment was scheduled for a time the next business day. Hawleywood's is not aware of any discrimination that has been alleged to have taken place. Moreover, Hawleywood's takes accusations of any law violations very seriously and will continue to investigate the facts and circumstances that surround this alleged incident.