Words: Emily Maskell; pictures: Kostiantyn Bibliuk
UKRAINEPRIDE has released a short film about the life of the queer community in Ukraine during the war.
UKRAINEPRIDE NGO, a queer movement aimed at the protection and education of Ukrainian cultural self-identification, in alliance with Taimi, presents ‘Pride is not available in your region’, a social awareness campaign video dedicated to Pride Month.
In Ukraine, the celebration of Pride Month has been impossible this year as all the participants of Reyvakh Pride are now actively defending Ukraine in the war against Russia.
Thank you @prideinlondon made this possible and standing with us this dark times— UKRAINEPRIDE (@UKRAINE_PRIDE_) June 30, 2022
You can watch us marching one of the first in column A-14 and after the parade we will give our speech on a Trafalgar Square main pride stage with our partners @ukraine_hub #Ukraine️ #PrideMonth pic.twitter.com/Wt9eooESsw
The real stories of Ukrainian people are featured in ‘Pride is not available in your region’ in which people paint, shave their heads and dance on the streets.
“I changed my profession to end the war sooner,” one person in the video says.
This short film shows how Ukrainian people are fighting for queer freedom is being amplified during Pride Month, asking for the world to hear the voices of the Ukrainian LGBTQIA+ community.
Yura Dvizhon, creative director of UKRAINEPRIDE and the film’s director, shared: “When I came back to Kyiv after two months in the war, I was nostalgic about last summer and our ‘Pride’.
“Some community members work as doctors, some volunteer, and some fight at the front line. LGBTQ people are part of the great victory that awaits Ukraine in the near future.”
Dvizhon is now actively supporting LGBTQIA+ military members and volunteers in Ukraine.
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“We feel how much the Ukrainian LGBTQIA+ community now needs its voice to be heard,” Yana Andyol, head of communications for Taimi, says.
“Now, during Pride Month, when the whole world is fighting for the rights of LGBTQIA+ people, members of the Ukrainian LGBTQIA+ community are fighting for their lives, their land, and the democratic values of any modern state.”
“That is why today we must unite in a common struggle and raise international awareness of the devastating effects of this war on LGBTQIA+ people.”
Last year, LGBTIQ activists held a ‘Rave Pride' party outside the Ukrainian president’s office – to draw attention to the safety of LGBTQIA+ people and the lack of investigation into past crimes of radical groups against the community – with the plan for it to become an annual event.
UKRAINEPRIDE is continuing to collect donations for queer Ukrainians affected by the war: https://www.ukrainepride.org/donate