Gay US Couple to be Deported after Calling Bali ‘Queer Friendly’
Kristen Gray and her partner with Indonesian officials
A gay American couple is being deported from Bali after viral tweets that called the Indonesian resort island “queer friendly”.
The firestorm started when Kristen Gray tweeted over the weekend that she was enjoying “an elevated lifestyle at a much lower cost of living” after moving to the island from Los Angeles with her girlfriend.
Praising the benefits of Bali, she said it was “queer friendly” and home to a “black in Bali community”.
Dear Kristen Gray— piemon (@plumziie) January 18, 2021
the fact that you encourage other people to move to Bali doing it illegally is not very respectful, indonesian does not care what race, colour, identity, gender you are. but if you are being disrespectful. i dont think indonesians tolerate that https://t.co/hruou2JBZn
She also promoted an e-book she was selling that told people how to bypass strict regulations barring foreigners from visiting during the coronavirus pandemic.
Justice official Jamaruli Manihuruk said Gray and her partner would be sent back to the US as she was “suspected of having intentionally disseminated unsettling information” about Bali.
Gray, however, insisted she had not committed a crime.
“I am not guilty… I am being deported because of (being gay),” she said.
the viral girl Kristen Gray will be deported soon from Bali because 1) she's been encouraging people to enter Bali during pandemic, which violates health procedures and travel restrictions in Indonesia. 2) she provides info on easy access to Bali, which violates local laws -> https://t.co/WNGvqCRfOD— fitria フィトリア ~ 真的太爱wayv了 (@crazykuroneko) January 19, 2021
While same-sex relationships are not illegal in most of Indonesia, the country’s LGBT community has faced growing pressure in recent years and their rights are limited.
Far from being supportive, the country’s LGBT community accused her of being ignorant of their plight.
For most Indonesians in Bali, “this is not a ‘queer friendly’ place,” one activist said.
“Please know that the majority of us Indonesians are still deeply embedded in the closet because of the astounding homophobia we face on a daily basis.”