Popular transgender YouTuber Gigi Gorgeous was refused entry into the United Arab Emirates and even detained at the airport for several hours — all because she is transgender.
The incident which Gigi described as ‘one of the scariest moments of my entire life’ happened on Tuesday. She was reportedly detained and held at the Dubai airport for more than five hours.
The 24-year-old shared with TMZ that an airport immigration officer had spoken to her: ‘I was told, you are transgender. You cannot come into the country.’
The airport police had reportedly claimed that Gigi was using a passport that identified her as male and its picture showing her as a man.
Gigi, who was born Gregory Lazzarato, refuted the claim, explaining that her passport has been updated since she transitioned and it now reads ‘Gigi Loren.’
TMZ reports that in Dubai the ‘imitation of women by men’ is illegal, and violators face up to a year in jail.
When Gigi was finally given back her passport, she got herself a ticket to fly to Stockholm, Sweden.
The YouTube star documented moments through the incident on her Snapchat:
Gigi’s good friend Nats Getty was with her when she was trapped at the airport.
‘After being detained and held at the Dubai airport for over 5 hours, this was the moment my baby came to rescue me,’ Gigi wrote on Instagram. ‘Yesterday was one of the scariest moments of my entire life and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.’
She went on to condemn what happened, and said that she hopes for change.
‘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,’ she said. ‘I am now on my way to somewhere much more accepting. Safe and sound and happy. I love you guys.’
Gigi is known for advocating for trans community, and last year at the GLSEN Respect Awards, she received the GLSEN Chairman Award.
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