Transgender Woman Gigi Gorgeous Detained at Dubai Airport Because of Her Gender

Model Gigi Gorgeous was traveling to Dubai Airport.  And it’s clear, she had no idea she’d run into any trouble getting into the United Arab Emirates because of who she is.


When she arrived at Dubai Airport, she was not only denied entry in, she was also detained.  Why?  Because Dubai has a law against “impersonating” a woman, and considers people who are transgender to be impersonating a woman.

In 2014, two women were detained and had their passports confiscated for the same reason.

From Gender Identity Watch:

 Dubai punishes the “imitation of women by men†under a law prohibiting “indecent acts†with fines, deportation and possible imprisonment of six months to a year. The pair cannot leave Dubai as their passports have been confiscated by the authorities. Brazil’s embassy confirmed the case and said the pair will have to wait for a court session to be held on March 23.

“Luckily”, the women were only deported.  They had to wait in the country for two months for their court case to happen, but they could have been imprisoned for much longer.

Here’s Gigi’s Instagram account of what happened.

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.

Gigi posted a video account of what happened as well:

Her passport was confiscated, but after it was returned, she was able to turn around and leave the country–thanks to a team of people also working on her behalf.

I was just talking to someone about Dubai and we were discussing how some couples decide not to hold hands, not to engage in PDA, etc. when going there because the stakes are too high.

In this case, Gigi wasn’t allowed to exist in the country. Period.  It didn’t matter what she was doing.

I had previously written about what I am frightened to travel to certain countries.  Dubai was one of them.  This definitely causes me to feel that even more strongly.

(Edit: I apologize for some weird formatting in previous versions.  The Instagram embed tool kept eating half my post.  I think it is fixed now.)

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. Foreign countries have laws that must be respected.

  2. “How you can be denied entry somewhere just because of who you are?” Not exactly you are a man pretending to be a woman. That is illegal in Dubai. Always pays to check out your host – or transit – country’s laws before you arrive. Why is it that Americans especially always seem to think that the way they see the world is the only right way? There are countries, and lots of them, that still respect the scriptures and outlaw improper conduct.

    • So should she pretend to be a man for the privilege to see Dubai? That would be ironic and incredibly problematic as I believe that being caught as a woman impersonating a man probably wouldn’t go over very well either. I don’t think it is arrogance to expect that your gender on your government issued passport should be accepted at face value. Also I’m pretty sure Gigi is Canadian not American.

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