Jia Qing Wilson-Yang was denied service at Body Blitz Spa, a popular women’s-only downtown spa, due to its policy prohibiting “male genitalia”.
This all came to light after her spouse tried to make her a surprise booking last week.
“My wife tried to book me a surprise appointment at Body Blitz Spa but they won’t allow ‘male genitalia’ at the spa and told us not to come,” Jia Qing Wilson-Yang wrote on Twitter, Friday.
Wilson-Yang is a Toronto-based author known for her transgender narrative novel “Small Beauty,” which was awarded the Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ emerging writers last year.
As you can imagine, her post sparked a barrage of negative feedback on Body Blitz Spa’s social media accounts, many saying they plan to boycott the business due to its “transphobic policy”.
Opened in 2005 by sisters Laura and Rena Polley, Body Blitz Spa has since expanded, offering two locations at Adelaide Street West and Portland Street, and in Corktown at King Street East and Adelaide Street.
The high-end water treatment spa’s corporate affairs coordinator Rachel Duffy issued a statement.
“We support the LGBTQ community and recognize that this is a sensitive issue,” the statement read.
On Facebook, the spa tried to clarify the controversy triggered by its policy:
“Because we are a bathing suit optional environment, our current policy is to ensure all clients are comfortable in an environment with nudity, including minors. We recognize that this is an important discussion for single-sex facilities to have and we will seek to find a satisfactory resolution.”
Body Blitz Spa says it plans to work with a civil rights professional to help them devise “a clear and fair policy.”
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