Gay flight attendant deported “for wearing tinted moisturizer”
Author: Greg Owen
Qatari security services reportedly detained and interrogated a former Qatar Airways flight attendant from Indonesia for wearing tinted moisturizer at a luxury hotel in the Qatari capital of Doha. He was subsequently fired and deported from the country.
Gilbert Ignatius was celebrating his 32nd birthday with friends at the Mondrian Hotel in Doha in May. He continued on to another hotel where the group was approached by security, he recalled in an interview with iNews.
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“‘There is a CID [Criminal Investigation Department] officer who wishes to speak to you,’” the guard told them. Ignatius and his friends were led to two CID officers. The officers brought them to a security room behind the hotel’s entrance.
Ignatius says one of the men suddenly ran a wet wipe roughly across his face and one of his companions.
“They found mine and my friend’s face was stained with tinted moisturizer,” he said.
“Without our consent, they just wiped our faces with wet wipes. I said, ‘Excuse me, you have no consent.’” He was ignored, Ignatius says, and the officers then demanded their phones and ID cards.
Again, Gilbert objected, and asked to speak to the Indonesian embassy. He was told them if they refused to comply they would be jailed.
The two men were taken to a police station and interrogated.
“It’s humiliating,” Ignatius said as he began to cry. “The first thing they asked me was, ‘How much do you earn every night? How much if you f*** him and how much if he f*** you? I know what you’re doing.’”
Citing the moisturizer, along with the Hermes bag and belt Ignatius was wearing, the two men were accused of prostitution, an offense, like gay sex, that’s punishable in Qatar by up to ten years in prison. Various anti-LGBTQ+ countries prosecute gay men and other LGBTQ+ people under false charges of sex work, drug dealing, “disturbing the peace,” offending “public morality,” and “unnatural acts.”
“I am not a prostitute,” Gilbert told the officer. “And he slapped my right cheek.”
Gilbert asked again to speak to his embassy. “He said, ‘You have no rights. This is Qatar.’”
The interrogation continued into the night. Officers discovered a photo of Ignatius shirtless at Bangkok Pride, more evidence, they said, of homosexuality and prostitution.
“They forced us to sign a paper written in Arabic,” says Ignatius, who doesn’t speak or read the language. Officers fingerprinted and photographed him before sending him home.
The next day, government-owned Qatar Airways told him he was grounded and held his passport. Weeks later, an airline representative drove Ignatius and his companion from the interrogation place to a border post near Saudi Arabia, where their passports were handed over to the police. They were told, “You are deported.”
Ignatius said the humiliating scene is being replayed across Qatar as authorities double down on crushing LGBTQ+ identity in the country following the 2022 World Cup.
“It’s getting worse. Right after the World Cup, a similar incident that later happened to me has been happening a lot. There were lots of undercover police doing this in shopping centers, restaurants, clubs, and bars, targeting mostly people from emerging countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand.”
In November and December last year, Qatar — through a series of threats to FIFA, soccer’s governing body, and detentions of guests wearing rainbow-themed attire — managed to suppress almost all public displays of support for LGBTQ+ rights. Planned protests by players faded as team management and governments buckled under pressure from the Qatari regime.
Actual Story on LGBTQ Nation
Author: Greg Owen