It’s all the rage, becoming a globe-trotting ‘influencer’ on social media. Thanks to these people who have boomed in popularity online, on channels such as Instagram and Twitter, many holiday destinations are getting some well-deserved spotlight. Many people book holidays after being enticed by what they have seen on their favorite influencer’s feed. However, this Bali influencer is now being deported for lying and trying to make a profit from it.
Kirsten and her girlfriend have been living in Bali since January 2020
Kirsten Gray and her partner, Saundra Alexander, traveled to Bali, Indonesia, last year in January. They are both “digital nomads,” and one could also label them as Bali influencers. Kirsten is a graphic designer with a large following on TikTok and Instagram, where she likes to share pictures and videos of their nomad lifestyle in Bali.
On a recent Twitter thread, which has since been removed, the Bali influencer boasted about her year on the Island. Kirsten was also promoting an ebook she and her partner had co-authored. The ebook was being sold for $30.
“After getting rejected for jobs and living off savings trying to make my business pop, my girlfriend and I decided to book one-way flights to Bali, Indonesia. This island has been amazing because of our elevated lifestyle at a much lower cost of living.“
“In March, when the pandemic hit and our 6-month plan went out the window, we decided to stay in Bali to ‘wait it out’ and we’ve been here ever since.”Kristen Gray – Twitter
Kirsten went on to list a number of benefits of moving to the Island
In her list of “major benefits” of moving to the Indonesian Islan, the Bali influencer made a number of statements about how much better her life was. Have a look at the screengrabs taken before her account was removed.
The Bali influencer sparked outrage online
As the thread gained popularity online, soon Indonesians and the wider Southeast Asian community took notice. They were not pleased. Many people online claimed that neither of the Bali influencers had proper visas. It’s also unclear as to whether they had been paying any taxes.
Local government soon noticed the Bali influencer
The Ministry of Law and Human Rights, Jamaruli Manihuruk, chief of the Bali regional office, commented that Kirsten had been violating some immigration laws. He also stated that her tweets ‘spread information that could unsettle the public.’
Turns out, Bali is not all that gay friendly.
Kirsten had made numerous comments about her and her girlfriend’s experience in Bali, including that it was both queer and Black friendly. Unfortunately for this Bali Influencer, that couldn’t be further from the truth. According to Buzzfeed News, ‘lawmakers have championed legislation to force “conversion therapy” onto LBGTQ people, police conduct raids on gay parties, and transgender women face deadly ‘targeted violence.’ Buzzfeed also stated that; ‘Racism and anti-Blackness are very much present in Southeast Asia, as seen in the historical, violent marginalization of Papuans in Indonesia and the discrimination against African students in Malaysia.'
“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.”
“Kirsten is suspected of carrying out business activities by selling e-books and put a rate for consulting (about) Bali tourism.”Jamaruli Manihuruk
She claims she is being deported because she is gay. While awaiting her flight out of Bali, Indonesia, she stated;
“I am not guilty, have not overstayed my visa and have not made money in Indonesian rupiah in Indonesia. After putting out a statement about LGBT and I am being deported about LGBT.”Kirsten Grey
Her girlfriend also said that she should not be liable for any tax;
“Why would I have to pay taxes if I never made IRD? I pay American taxes for making USD.”Saundra Alexander
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