Gigi Gorgeous Allegedly Detained for Being Transgender

August 10th 2016

Lucy Tiven

Transgender YouTube star Gigi Gorgeous shared a disturbing story on Instagram about being detained in the Dubai International Airport because of her gender identity.

According to TMZ, who broke the story, the model was stopped at immigration on Tuesday because of an issue with her passport.

She alleges that an immigration officer told her, "I was told you are transgender. You cannot come into the country."

Airport police claimed that the 24-year-old's passport showed her as male, but she maintains that it has been updated since her transition to read "Gigi Loren" rather than her birth name, Gregory Lazzarato, TMZ reports.

In her Instagram post, Gigi Gorgeous, who has shared her experience transitioning on social media, wrote that she was held in the Dubai airport for over five hours.

She described the experience as "one of the scariest moments" in her life.

In Dubai, transgender women can face fines, deportation, and prison time for the crime of "imitation of women by men," which is categorized as an "indecent act" by law, according to the Advocate.

In 2013, two Brazilian transwomen were detained in Dubai and charged with this crime, the Advocate reports.

Dubai is not the only country that criminalizes LGBT people.

In a recent Instagram post, transgender model Valentijn De Hingh donned a dress constructed out of flags from the 72 countries where being LGBT punishable by law.

Several transgender people have also documented their traumatizing run-ins with the TSA in the United States.

In September 2015, transgender writer and producer Shadi Petosky live-tweeted her detention at Orlando International Airport, where she alleged she was harassed and held for 40 minutes after officers flagged her crotch as an "anamoly" and told her to “get back in the machine as a man or it was going to be a problem,” the New York Times reports. The TSA, for its part, maintained that the offers followed protocol.

Petosky addressed what happened to Gigi Gorgeous in a Wednesday tweet.

In October 2015, Congressional Democrats published a letter stating that TSA protocol may be “well-suited to screen some cisgender passengers, but they do so at the expense of singling out transgender or gender nonconforming individuals," Lambda reports.

Some of these individuals have used the hashtag #TravelingWhileTrans to chronicle and share these experiences on social media in recent years.

[h/t TMZ]