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Gay flight attendant deported “for wearing tinted moisturizer”

Gay flight attendant deported “for wearing tinted moisturizer”

A flight attendant was celebrating his 32nd birthday in a hotel. Then the police came... By Greg Owen Sunday, November 26, 2023


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.

News of his expulsion comes a year after Qatar held the World Cup amid charges of human rights abuses targeting LGBTQ+ people and their allies. Coldplay concert in Indonesia protested by hundreds of anti-LGBTQ+ Muslims Protesters clashed with police and accused the band of being “LGBT propagandists.”

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

‘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.


JB COMMENTS: While the LGBT community in the west are falling over themselves making sure they are called with the correct pronoun - and going ape shit if they are miss gendered and where people are being fired from their job because they mis gendered someone - here in the real world of homophobia and persecution, that is happening in scores of countries and where even some western governments are reversing their LGBT laws - the arrogance and fucked up attitude of so many who enjoy the freedoms offered here in the west - compared to the horrendous treatment of LGBT in so many countries, makes me ashamed the LGBT communities in the UK - for instance - do so little to bring awareness and support for those less fortunate than we are. How about PRIDE instead of being one big piss up and an excuse to show off, cruise, dress in drag and generally have a fun gay old day - how about raising funds and attention for these countries LGBT organisations that help those in these countries - and how about showing some LGBT Community compassion for those in need abroad.

John: Concerning your piece about the cabin crew being deported - A decade ago plus - I was Cabin Crew and one night in Dubai - I forgot where I was and forgot myself and acted in an inappropriate manner to local customs and was arrested and severely beaten by the Religious Police ( as I called them ) with wooden batons and ended up in hospital - then prison and then deported. It was six weeks of hell. I was fired from my airline and banned from Dubai. It was my fault - and I was lucky I was allowed to leave and not jailed for a longer period. I still carry the physical and mental scars from that to this day. Some nations still live in the middle ages.

Gerry J.


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