Man convicted of cross-dressing
By Bassam Za'za', Senior Reporter
Published: January 31, 2009, 22:59
Dubai: A manager, who claimed he was training to play a female in a Bollywood film, has been charged with cross-dressing and using mascara at Mall of the Emirates. The Dubai Court of Misdemeanours gave the 45-year-old Indian, an administration manager with a property developer, a six-month suspended jail term and fined him Dh10,000.
The court found him guilty of cross-dressing in public. However the judge suspended his imprisonment because it's his first offence and it believed that he won't repeat the crime. The jail term was suspended for three years within which he should not repeat the crime. The Public Prosecution has appealed the initial verdict and is seeking stiffer punishment.
A defence witness told the court that P.K., who also works in the movie industry, was training for a minor role in a forthcoming film in India which required him to wear a woman's outfit.
Undercover policemen spotted the defendant at Mall of the Emirates. The policemen claimed that his outfit was glittering (like a woman's clothes), and he wore a bra, mascara, women's perfume and a wig.
"I'm not guilty... I was cross-dressed because I was training to perform a woman's role in Indian cinema. I didn't intend to go to the mall but I went there because I received an urgent phone call," P.K. told the public prosecutor.
Police records said that he attempted to bribe the policemen in order to avoid being taken to court.
"I didn't bribe anyone... they misunderstood me because I said I was willing to pay a fine if that would be my punishment," the accused said in his statement to the Public Prosecution.
The Appeals Court will hear the case in March.
Dubai toughened up on cross-dressing (both male and female) last year when many cross-dressing tourists were arrested and deported. And apparently it’s an increasing problem in the schools, with girls dressing as boys!
Speaking to Arab News, Hamda Amiri, a social worker with one of the government high schools, said that there were an increasing number of girls dressing like boys in the schools. “The phenomenon is more visible in the girls’ schools than in the boys. It has become fashionable and cool for some of these girls to dress and act as boys. It’s shocking but some girls think that by dressing and acting this way, they are rebelling and making a statement!...
Shock horror! We all know what happens when girls dress like boys, don't we?
Of course, it’s a fine line. How do they set the standard? Is a woman in jeans and a shirt cross-dressing? Does a guy with a touch of eye-liner and a sparkly-top deserve 6 months??
What about this guy? He's wearing a skirt and make-up!
Or, these guys????? (try dressing like this in a Texas bar and not be considered a cross-dresser...)
So, no pantos for Dubai's many English residents. Imagine the jail time if people were caught charging people to go and see something like this in a public theatre!
Oman used to have a similar law, but I think its been withdrawn and it's no longer illegal for a man to cross dress here... but I'm not sure... Any readers with knowledge?