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Kuwait:Trans woman avoids arrest as morality campaign continues

BY NATASHA BARSOTTI — A transgender woman managed to avoid arrest after a beauty salon owner reported her and a female friend to the police, Gay Star News reports. 

According to the report, the friend allegedly attacked the salon owner, who had refused the transgender woman service and asked the two to leave the premises. The police subsequently arrested the friend, but the transgender woman escaped.

In their story, headlined “’Pretty Boy’ Causes Fisticuff in Riggae,” the Kuwait Times says “a female ciitzen,” who wanted to apply make-up on “a boy,” attacked a beauty salon owner for refusing to allow her into her business. “Pretty boy” is reportedly a derogatory euphemism used to describe a person who is a transgender woman.

Kuwaiti activists recently estimated that about 11 transgender people are in jail awaiting trial. “The authorities are using the article prohibiting ‘imitating the opposite sex’ to violate our freedom of expression, and as a political weapon,” an activist recently told Gay Star News. “Transgender people have to be in disguise all the time, we can’t even leave home or walk among the society, we have to remain hidden for our safety and we’re treated as criminals."

In 2007, the Kuwaiti parliament passed a bill amending the penal code so that anyone “imitating the appearance of a member of the opposite sex” could be jailed for up to a year or fined up to 1,000 dinars ($3,500). 

Image: geology.com

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