Gay US couple deported from Bali after calling island 'queer friendly' and telling people to visit during Covid

A GAY couple was deported from Bali after they called the island 'queer friendly' and encouraged people to visit on social media.

Travel influencer Kristen Antoinette Gray compared Bali to Los Angeles on Twitter and complimented the island's affordable lifestyle.



She and her girlfriend Saundra Alexander had gone traveling in March 2020, but when the pandemic hit they decided to "wait it out" in Bali and stayed.

The backlash kicked off when she promoted her $30 e-book, Our Bali life Is Yours, which included "direct links to our visa agents and how to get into Indonesia during Covid", in a Twitter thread on Saturday.

The influencer wrote that she was enjoying an "elevated lifestyle" and dished out travel advice to fellow foreigners looking to escape to the sunshine.

"When I think about it, it's super clear that the move was intuitive. Bali is where I was supposed to be through it all.

"There was an energy about the states that I had to take a break from. Bali was the perfect medicine," she wrote on Twitter.

She then listed the "major benefits" of moving to Bali, these included safety, low cost of living, luxury lifestyle, Queer friendly and Black in Bali community.

“This island has been amazing because of our elevated lifestyle at much lower cost of living. I was paying $1,300 for my LA studio. Now I have a treehouse for $400,” one of her posts read.

Her posts sparked fury among Indonesian social media users who felt she was bragging about living it up in Bali without a proper business visa.

I am not making money in Indonesian rupiah. I put out a statement about LGBT and I am deported because of LGBT

Jamaruli Manihuruk, chief of the Bali regional office for the Ministry of Law and Human Rights said her posts were considered to have "disseminated information disturbing to the public."

A statement from the office cited her descriptions of Bali providing comfort for LGBTQ people and being easily accessible during the pandemic.

It also referenced tweets with links to her e-book, which had direct links to agents who could help foreigners move to the island.

At news a conference on Tuesday, Manihuruk, she said: “She stated that she could provide easy access to Bali through the recommended agency and offered the low living costs in Bali, that it is comfortable and LGBTQ-friendly."

“She is suspected of carrying out business activities by selling e-books and put a rate for consulting (about) Bali tourism,” he added.

Gray told reporters after Immigration officials announced the deportation: "“I am not guilty. I have not overstayed my (tourist) visa.

"I am not making money in Indonesian rupiah. I put out a statement about LGBT and I am deported because of LGBT,” Gray told reporters after Immigration officials announced the deportation.

She will not be allowed back in the country for another six months, however, on January 1, Indonesia banned foreigners from entering the country.

In recent years there have been attacks against the LGBT+ community in Indonesia.

Last year, Bali authorities announced they were investigating four hotels for "catering to gays".

Kristen and her partner are currently being held in immigration detention whilst waiting for a flight back to the United States.




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