Transgender YouTube star Gigi Gorgeous may have experienced pushback when she documented her transition to share with her YouTube followers years ago. But times have changed since — in part thanks to the likes of Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox, the TV series Transparent, among others — and Gorgeous, a model and YouTube sensation, now enjoys a high profile and travels around the world for work.
On Tuesday, however, Gorgeous posted a photo on Instagram that served as a reminder of the daily injustices that transgender people face all across the world.
The Canadian model shared a picture of her locked in an embrace with her partner, capturing, she said in the caption, the moment "my baby came to rescue me." Gorgeous was allegedly detained at the Dubai airport for five hours because she was a transperson.
"Yesterday was one of the scariest moments of my entire life and I wouldn't wish it upon anyone," Gorgeous wrote. "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."
In an interview with TMZ, Gorgeous said that her immigration officer told her, "I was told you are transgender. You cannot come into the country." But according to TMZ, the authorities countered that she was held because her passport lists her as male and her photo shows her as male.
Gorgeous' experience is only one example of what many transgender people face. A number of countries do not have laws in place to protect transgender people — as well as parts of the United States — so discrimination is rampant. Transphobia especially affects transgender women of color, who are most frequently the targets of anti-trans violence.
But Gorgeous' ability to reach out to a large social media following makes her call for change particularly loud — and hopefully impactful, too.