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Long Beach barbershop refuses to cut a transgender man’s hair, lawsuit alleges

An old-timey barbershop chain has been sued on allegations of refusing to cut a transgender man’s hair.

In a civil-rights lawsuit filed March 29 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Rose Trevis claimed he was discriminated against at the Long Beach location of Hawleywood’s Barber Shop & Shaving Parlor.

When Trevis asked for an appointment at the shop, according to the lawsuit, an employee stared at him and replied, “We don’t cut women’s hair.”

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Trevis, who identifies as a man, replied: “Who says I’m a woman?” Another employee looked Trevis up and down and reiterated, “We don’t cut women’s hair,” the suit alleged.

Ultimately, Trevis said, he was denied service by the employees -- who told him they don’t even allow women in the shop, according to court documents.

“I felt humiliated, discriminated against and frowned upon,” Trevis said in a statement provided by his attorney, Gloria Allred. “I was dumbfounded and appalled that this type of behavior continues to exist and hope that we can bring an end to this absurd type of discrimination.”

The barbershop chain’s owner, Donnie Hawleywood, did not respond to a request for comment. In addition to its three Southern California shops -- in Long Beach, Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach -- Hawleywood’s has a location in Sydney, Australia.

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Its website bills the business as “a time warp back to ‘40s Chicago” where customers can “get a straight razor shave, a nice tight haircut and enjoy the relaxed and comfortable atmosphere of a real men’s sanctuary.”

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In her statement, Allred highlighted another passage on the website: “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?”

“A business that excludes women, refuses to serve women and that confirms a discriminatory policy in its advertising is in violation of the law,” Allred said.

Trevis’ lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and an injunction preventing Hawleywood’s from denying services based on gender.

Dobruck writes for Times Community News.

jeremiah.dobruck@latimes.com

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