This has gotten quite a lot of hits on my blog, and I have gotten seven comments, all in favor of Brant. What does everyone here think?

A Philadelphia hair stylist has filed a federal suit contending that he was fired from his salon job because he wears high heels and women’s clothes and does not “conform to stereotypes regarding how males should appear and behave.”

Daniel Brant (Metro: Rikard Larma)

Daniel Brant (Metro: Rikard Larma)

Brant, 25, is not transgender; he say’s that he wears women’s clothes because they better show off his feminine features. “I think if you’re a masculine man and you have nice arms, then you wear a tight shirt and emphasize your arms,” he said. He also says that he wore high heels when he cut hair at the Chop Shop salon on the campus of Temple University because “when you’re cutting someone’s hair you need to reach the top of their head.”

The sex-discrimination suit, which seeks unspecified damages, was filed last week in U.S. District Court.Chop Shop owner Kathy Thomas described the suit as “unfair.” “I can’t believe he’s going through with this,” she said, to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Brant was hired full-time at the Chop Shop’s Temple salon in February 2008.

That May, according to the suit, a female supervisor complained that Brant was “too flamboyant” and the salon stopped sending male clients; Brant said his income fell when the supervisor stopped sending him male customers. Thomas claims that his wardrobe made some Temple University customers “uncomfortable.” Brant says in the suit that he was cut from five days a week to one after he was sent to work at the salon’s location on South Street, later that month.”It really got to a point that I really had no choice,” he said of the suit. “You can’t treat people like that in the workplace ever. This was something that was completely unfair.”

But Thomas denies Brant’s account. “If he had wanted to wear a dress, that would have been fine,” she said. “But at one point, he was wearing Daisy Dukes shorts. He was basically uncovered.” She claims that she was forced to send Brant home one day because he was wearing “Daisy Dukes.” “But I didn’t fire him then,” she said.

Brant denies ever wearing Daisy Dukes. “The same clothing that I wore when I was hired, was the clothes they complained about,” he is quoted as saying in Metro International.

In July 2008, he called Thomas and registered a sex-discrimination complaint; on Aug. 3, 2008, Thomas fired Brant.

Brant said that he was terminated because he referred a client to another salon – a common practice, he said – and that Thomas used the referral as a pretext to fire him. Brant says that he referred the client to another salon because she wanted to get her eyebrows waxed and the salon’s wax station was closed that day.

Thomas acknowledges that that Chop Shop’s wax station was closed that day, but claims that Brant was working at another salon, and telling his clients to go there.

“That’s why he was fired,” she said. “His story sounds good and newsworthy, but this has nothing to do with how he dressed.”




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