Rachel Charlene Lewis
Updated Aug 11, 2016 @ 1:48 pm
Credit: Instagram / https://www.instagram.com/p/BIyQi55BzfR/?taken-by=gigigorgeous

Recently, Canadian model and vlogger Gigi Gorgeous was detained at the Dubai International Airport for being trans. Following the event, she vlogged immediately from the airport to update her concerned fans and help herself process the trauma she experienced. She opened up about the discrimination she faced, and it’s truly awful.

“So I get off a 12 plus hour flight, I’m ready to get off the plane start my adventure… I’m super excited. We get to security. And this guy, I already knew [something was up because] he was smirking, he had weird look on his face. He looks at my passport, he looks back at me, and all of a sudden, he has all these questions.”

Next, he said he couldn’t stamp her passport because the machine was broken. It was clearly a lie because he’d just stamped many passports right before hers. What happened next was basically horrifying.

“I’d just gotten my passport renewed,” Gigi says. “It was renewed, it was perfect, I thought it would be no hassle.”

Gigi’s bodyguard said she was denied entry, despite having zero criminal record and having a brand new passport. The bodyguard explained that the security guard didn’t like that she’s trans, and was concerned about her passport. It was in that moment that she broke down.

“I full on started bawling, sobbing, my eyes out to the point where I thought I was having an anxiety attack or a panic attack. I couldn’t breathe.”

Gigi went to immigration and spent another two hours trying to figure out what was going to happen. At that point, she said, she was really afraid for her life. The event was completely traumatizing, and there’s just no reason it should have happened.

“I had to sit on the ground, and I had to really really focus on breathing. I’m meeting really really special people here in Dubai, and now being denied all the way in Dubai, I thought, ‘What is going to happen to me?'”

She explained that this proves that, no matter what you do to your passport, no matter how they prepare, trans people aren’t welcomed everywhere and are likely to face discrimination.

“I took all the precautions, and still, because someone knows I’m transgender, I have to go through all this? It’s bullshit, and it’s really, really scary.”

Watch Gigi explain below.