Yesterday, transgender model and YouTube star Gigi Gorgeous was detained for 5 hours by airport police in Dubai. She told TMZ she was stopped at immigration shortly after showing her passport and being told by an officer, “I was told you are transgender. You cannot come into the country.”
This isn’t the first time Dubai has detained a transgender woman for breaking their ban on the “imitation of women by men.” In 2014, two trans Brazilian women had their passports confiscated and were charged with breaking the UAE’s transphobic laws.
Airport police have since come forward and accused the star of using a passport that showed her pre-transition—an accusation laced with institutionalized transphobia—but Gigi insists her passport was updated. She took to her Instagram this morning to share more about her experience:
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?