A Russian powerlifting champion has described her horror at being asked to prove she was a woman before boarding a domestic flight.
According to reports, Anna Turaeva was attempting to board a flight from St Petersburg to her home city of Krasnodar on Russian airline Utair when she was refused.
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The 42-year-old said she was “humiliated” when Utair staff members asked her “intimate” questions about her sexual preferences in front of other passengers.
“At the checkpoint, they refused to let me pass through saying that it was written in my passport that I am a woman,” Turaeva wrote on Instagram.
“It was humiliating. I was reprimanded like a child in front of people in the queue.
“They wanted to know which role I play in life and between the sheets.
“The whole queue was watching this anarchy, and I felt as helpless as possible in this situation.
“I was trying to prove that I am indeed a woman.”
Turaeva, who reportedly came out as gay a number of years ago, said she kept her cool and “did not allow myself the slightest rudeness”.
“Then a miracle happened - I was allowed to board the plane,” Turaeva said.
“I have worked all my youth … with my blood and sweat for my country, not to be treated this way.”
Airline apologises to Anna Turaeva
Utair has since apologised.
“Such service is unacceptable,” the airline said.
“We will definitely check the actions of the airport employees who worked on your flight, and we will sort out the situation.”
Turaeva is a six-time world champion in bench press and has won a number of powerlifting competitions around the world.
She now works as a coach.
Despite the ordeal, Turaeva said she won’t be changing the way she looks to please others.
“I see myself this way and I am not going to change and look different,” she said.
“I’m not going to prove anything to anyone.
“It’s just my style, my lifestyle ... I am so comfortable.”
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