Thai beauty pageant finalist denied entry into Dubai for being transgender

Thai Model FI
  • Thai model Rachaya Noppakaroon, who is transgender, said she wasinterrogated for hours at the Dubai airport because her passport stated that she was “male.”
  • In a tearful Facebook post on March 16, Noppakaroom detailed a complete timeline of what happened from the moment she arrived in Dubai to when she was forced to return to Thailand.
  • “A nightmare while my eyes are open,” she wrote. “We were so determined to perform in Dubai.”
  • According to the Criminal Code of Dubai, it is illegal to be transgender or homosexual, and punishable by law with up to 14 years of imprisonment and a fine of approximately $2,700.
  • Noppakaroon, who was the 2014 Miss Tiffany’s pageant first runner-up, was attempting to travel to Dubai for a Muay Thai demonstration at the World Expo.

Model Rachaya Noppakaroon detailed on her Facebook the hours of interrogation over her gender she underwent by Dubai’s immigration office.

Thai model Rachaya Noppakaroon, who is also transgender, said she was interrogated for hours at the Dubai airport because her passport stated that she was “male.” Despite having the appropriate paperwork, she was ultimately denied entry and forced to return to Thailand just 19 hours after she arrived.

In a tearful Facebook post from March 16, Noppakaroom detailed a complete timeline of what happened from the moment she arrived in Dubai to when she returned home to Thailand, where she had to immediately enter quarantine after traveling. 

“A nightmare while my eyes are open,” she wrote, “We were so determined to perform in Dubai.” Noppakaroon then listed all the documents she had completed prior to flying. 

At the end of her post, Noppakaroon clarified that she did not blame the Dubai Immigration employees, but rather the Thai law that listed her as “male” on her passport. She stated this was something that needed to be fixed, or many others would face the same problems as she. 

According to the Criminal Code of Dubai, it is illegal to be transgender or homosexual. Sex between people of the same gender and gender expression of trans people are punishable by law with up to 14 years of imprisonment and a fine of approximately $2,700.

Noppakaroon, who was the 2014 Miss Tiffany’s pageant first runner-up, was originally attempting to travel to Dubai for a Muay Thai demonstration at the World Expo. She posted earlier today on her social media several pictures of what would have been her outfit at the event. 

Featured Image via @mix_rachaya

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