YouTube personality, model, and beauty guru Gigi Loren Lazzarato, more commonly known by her #YouTube name Gigi Gorgeous, published a YouTube video August 11, detailing her experience being detained at Dubai International Airport. In the video, she reveals how airport security detained her for being #transgender.
Lazzarato claims the security personnel who denied her entry initially pretended he could not stamp her passport because of a broken machine. Dubai Airport security held her passport for another two hours, which Lazaratto claims she had just renewed, bringing it up-to-date. After she was detained for two hours, her bodyguard returned from meeting with personnel to inform her she could not enter the country.
“He said, ‘You’ve been denied entry,’” recounted Lazaratto. “He told me, ‘It’s because you are transgender, and they don’t allow that here.’”
Lazaratto, along with her bodyguard, went to immigration afterward. Feeling unwelcome and fearful, Lazaratto planned to find a private jet to leave the country.
“I told my bodyguard, don’t leave me, please don’t leave me alone.” said Lazaratto. “At that point I was scared for my life.”
The bodyguard stayed with Lazaratto for hours past his time on the clock, which she said she appreciated. She also thanked her girlfriend’s mother, The United Nations Foundation, and “People at the White House.” Lazaratto’s final thanks went to “the Prime Minister’s aide.” She did not specify which country’s Prime Minister, whether it be the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, or Sweden (the country she eventually flew to from Dubai).
She recounts in her video that she always dreamed of going to Dubai after “hearing good things amongst the negative,” despite others warning her about the country’s view of transgender people. After the incident, Lazaratto’s feelings for the country changed.
“This just proves that people like me are not welcome here,” said Lazaratto. “It doesn’t matter what you have changed on your passport. You are not welcome if you are transgender.”
Before leaving for Sweden with her girlfriend, Lazaratto slept that night in the hotel attached to the airport. She would have been arrested if she had stepped foot on Dubai soil.
Dubai outlaws “men imitating women,” and this crime is punishable by jail time from six months up to a year. Dubai Police claimed Lazaratto had been listed as male on her passport, but she disputes this.
Lazaratto first began her YouTube following with makeup tutorials in 2008. Now she has over two million subscribers and has worked with both Kylie Jenner and Miley Cyrus.
The full video can be found here: