Model Frances Coombe Files Lawsuit Against Agency Over Gender Discrimination Claims

Model Frances Coombe Files Lawsuit Against Agency Over Gender Discrimination Claims

Model Sues Employer Over Gender Discrimination

Frances Coombe, a Canadian catwalk model, is taking legal action against his former employer, Muse Management, in New York, citing civil rights violations after asserting his gender identity.

Coombe alleges that the agency forced him to continue presenting as a woman despite his transition, leading to a detrimental impact on his career.

Lawsuit Demands Trial and Compensation

Filed in Manhattan federal court, Coombe’s lawsuit seeks a jury trial and claims damages amounting to over $300,000, asserting that his income was affected due to alleged gender discrimination.

Despite Coombe’s assertions, Muse Management CEO Conor Kennedy denies any wrongdoing and aims to clear his name through legal proceedings.

Model’s Career and Gender Transition

Discovered by Muse Management in Toronto at 18, Coombe had a successful career modeling women’s wear for high fashion brands.

Over time, his style evolved to be increasingly androgynous, expressed through various aspects like hairstyle, attire, and body styling.

Transition Revelation and Alleged Discrimination

In October 2021, Coombe informed Muse about transitioning, initially identifying as non-binary.

However, the agency insisted on categorizing and presenting Coombe solely as a woman for modeling jobs, disregarding his gender identity.

Challenges and Rejection

Despite Coombe’s change in pronouns and hormone therapy, Muse allegedly refused to acknowledge his transition.

Coombe claims the agency overlooked similar androgynous models, stating he was “insufficiently masculine,” thereby imposing gender stereotypes on his work.

Discrimination Complaints and Resignation

Repeated complaints about misgendering and discrimination led to Coombe’s complaints being ignored or met with rejection of job opportunities, causing a rapid decline in work prospects. Coombe felt compelled to resign due to the alleged mistreatment.

Legal Action and Compensation Sought

The lawsuit demands compensation for financial losses, emotional distress, and punitive damages to deter similar discriminatory behavior in the future.

Coombe also seeks an injunction against Muse and Kennedy to prevent further discriminatory actions based on gender identity. Kennedy’s legal representative expressed disappointment in the lawsuit, asserting its lack of merit.