“How you can be denied entry somewhere just because of who you are is seriously disgusting and also very scary,” she wrote on Facebook and Instagram. Gigi Gorgeous said she was detained for five hours.
Last night, vlogger and model Gigi Gorgeous was held at Dubai International Airport by immigration officers. Why? Because they denied that her gender is legitimate, saying that, despite Gigi’s insistence that this is not at all the case, the gender on her passport doesn’t agree with how she presents. According to reports from TMZ (if you click over, TW for transphobic language), the “imitation of women by men” is illegal in Dubai, and violators face up to a year in jail.
Nothing about this is okay.
Set to soon star in her own documentary, the vlogger has been extremely open about her transition, and it’s horrifying to see yet another trans woman dealing with huge structural injustices like this one. It’s very concerning that Gigi is saying her passport has been updated to reflect her gender, and not what she was assigned at birth, and yet she’s being detained. So what, then, is the reason for her detainment?
But this isn’t only an issue abroad.
Before we turn this into an issue that happens “out there,” we have to recognize the ways our own country fails trans travelers. Shadi Petosky, an American trans woman, opened up about how she was forced to miss a flight when an Orlando airport decided something about her body seemed “strange.” Too, the TSA in general has been criticized for policies that mark trans bodies as anomalies and cause everything from missed flights to embarrassment to trauma.
Luckily, Gigi was released.
After being detained and held at the Dubai airport for over 5 hours, this was the moment my baby came to rescue me. Yesterday was one of the scariest moments of my entire life and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone. How you can be denied entry somewhere just because of who you are is seriously disgusting and also very scary. This further proves the need for CHANGE. I am now on my way to somewhere much more accepting. Safe and sound and happy. I love you guys?