A trans woman in Malaysia has spoken out about transphobic discrimination by celebrity chef Noboyuki Matsuhisa’s restaurant Nobu.
Chef Shairazi Bahari applied for a front-of-house position at the restaurant group’s Kuala Lumpur location, and alleges she was offered the job on the condition that she cut her hair short and behave as a man, according to The Guardian.
“I got a call from the HR lady where she was telling me that they were really keen on hiring me, but they had [an] issue with my appearance, and would I consider the offer with the condition that I cut my hair, wear a male uniform and use the male toilets,” she said.
“I don’t think they wanted to give me anything like that in writing so they gave me a phone call.”
Bahari said she declined the role because she would not pose as a man for work.
The restaurant denies Bahari’s claim, saying it never offered her the position, but declined to comment on the specifics of the allegation.
“The candidate did not match our requirement and therefore was not successful,” said HR executive Vriesia Ng.
Bahari said she hoped the high-profile international restaurant would commit to equitable hiring practices.
She has reported the incident to the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, which confirmed it has received the complaint and is investigating.
Malaysia has for several years been in the midst of a crackdown on LGBT people.
The Malaysian government has also revealed plans for a ‘conversion’ program for trans women, which it says will be voluntary.