Gigi Gorgeous is an icon in the YouTube beauty community. In addition to her own successful YouTube channel, she’s appeared on Project Runway, on Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s channel, and even on What’s Trending.
Unfortunately, though, her latest headline is not for her impressive work, but for her being a target of discrimination. Why? Because she happens to be trans, and in far too many places in this world in 2016, that’s still a problem.
Recently, she told fans via Instagram that she’d be “on a plane somewhere DOPE soon”. That somewhere was Dubai, widely thought of around the world as a modern metropolis. Despite Dubai’s reputation, it’s still a part of the United Arab Emirates — one of the most repressively anti-LGBT governments in the world.
She told TMZ that she was detained in the Dubai airport when an immigration officer said, “I was told you are transgender. You cannot come into the country.”
Airport police told TMZ Gigi’s passport “describes her as male and the passport photo shows Gigi as a male.” But according to Gigi, her passport has been updated since she transitioned, now reading “Gigi Loren.”
Gigi opened up in an emotional Instagram post after being released from detainment:
“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”
She detailed her experience in a YouTube video uploaded after the ordeal:
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