- Influencer Kristen Gray wrote a lengthy Twitter thread, encouraging foreigners to move to Bali, Indonesia.
- She promoted the island as a safe, affordable, and “queer-friendly” place.
- The government saw her tweets and eventually deported her for disseminating incorrect information and for selling an e-book online.
In a lengthy Twitter thread, social media influencer Kristen Gray urged others to move to Bali, Indonesia. Gray, who is 28 years old, has spent 2020 in the island with her girlfriend 30-year-old Saundra Alexander.
Much to her surprise, they eventually ended up getting deported when the local government saw her posts. According to reports, officials claim Gray was doing business endeavors in Bali without the proper visa.
Self-confessed “digital nomad” Kristen Gray with her girlfriend Saundra Alexander
Gray promoted Bali on Twitter and her thread eventually went viral online.
Gray even named some of the major pro’s of living in the Indonesian island…
Moreover, she posted a link where people can buy their e-book.
Gray’s posts didn’t sit well with authorities, especially since foreigners have been restricted from the country since January for the purpose of preventing Covid-19 transmission. On top of that, public activities are still prohibited in Bali and Java.
Jamaruli Manihuruk, chief of the Bali regional office for the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, said Gray’s tweets “disseminated information disturbing to the public.”
“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,” added Manihuruk. “She is suspected of carrying out business activities by selling e-books and put a rate for consulting (about) Bali tourism.”
Gray denied the allegations, saying the deportation is because she spoke about the LGBT community.
“I am not guilty,” she defended. “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.”
“She was not aware of her privileges as a foreigner, with a stronger currency that gives her more safety compared to the underprivileged local LGBT people,” social psychologist Benny Siauw said in an interview. “Here, the LGBT communities have been facing persecutions and other forms of discrimination long before she came [to the country].”
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