So it’s all over the web, YouTube star Gigi Lazzarato (Gorgeous) was detained in a Dubai airport for 5 hours after being refused entry through passport control after allegedly being told by the worker there, that she couldn’t enter the country due to her being transgender and that her passport picture and information didn’t match her presented gender, a claim she refutes.
But should she really be remotely surprised that in Dubai, a place not known for its progressive nature towards LGBT individuals she got treated badly.
It is actually considered illegal in Dubai for “men to imitate women”, and gay people can either be deported or imprisoned, and the crazy thing is, Dubai is considered one of the more progressive cities in the region. But by the standards of the region, that’s not exactly saying much.
Now not for one second do I agree with her treatment, but at the end of the day, she was travelling to a predominantly Islamic country.
Yes Dubai is seen as a hip place to be, and the rich and famous go there on their holidays, but Gigi should have done her research before going over there. On the surface it looks like an amazing place to go, well developed and technologically advanced, but just below the surface is a heavily religious city, in a heavily religious area of the world.
It is grossly unfair that there are some places in the world that people from the LGBT community simply can’t travel, but until the world changes, people have to take precautions. It’s a question of keeping oneself safe as possible. There were probably hundreds of other equally exotic places she could have visited, but she chose Dubai. Personally, she should be thankful that immigration stopped her going through, because who knows what could’ve possibly happened if she had got out of the airport. She may have been arrested, or worse.
What people have to remember is that Dubai has a history of atrocities against people, especially women and the LGBT community. In 2013 a Norwegian woman went to local police and said she had been raped by a co-worker. She was actually arrested and convicted of extra marital sex, and consumption of alcohol and sentenced to 16 months in prison. She was eventually pardoned, but only after she was pressured to say the rape hadn’t happened, and this isn’t the only time something like this has happened. Numerous times, women have reported sexual assault and have been charged themselves for other things. And don’t get me started on how LGBT people get treated there. People have been arrested, fined, imprisoned for up to 10 years, lashed, and forcibly deported, simply for being convicted of homosexual behavior.
Everyone should feel free to be as fabulous as they want to be, but there will be places and people who simply can’t handle that. It’s why I thinks it’s incredibly important for people to educate themselves about places that they want to travel to remain safe. And while you may feel there is progress in general, it doesn’t mean there is progress everywhere.
I agree with Gigi to an extent when she said it was disgusting and very scary that you are denied entry somewhere because of who you are, and it shouldn’t happen, but sadly it does.
So if you are thinking of going anywhere on holiday, please find out everything you can beforehand about its laws and customs so you can stay safe and happy and actually enjoy yourself without fear of being arrested, or attacked.
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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?
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I’m a 36 year old gay man who’s been in a relationship for 11 years. I now live in Manchester. My interests include writing, movies and watching many different types of documentary. I’m not afraid to voice an opinion, but respects others views
Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you'd like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.