“Putin’s ideology is homophobia”: Ukraine’s LGBTQ+ neighborhood fights for freedom on the frontline

Kyiv Delight was by no means presupposed to be held outdoors of Ukraine’s capital, however among the many rainbow flags at Warsaw Delight in neighboring Poland, Ukraine’s ubiquitous blue and yellow stood out.

“I am right here as a result of I can not go to Delight in Ukraine,” one participant mentioned. “We’re all individuals no matter who you’re keen on.”

Central Europe’s greatest Delight march stored a concentrate on Ukraine’s combat towards Russia, in addition to its LGBTQ+ neighborhood’s combat for equal rights.

Victor Pylypenko, who’s homosexual and serves as a medic on the frontline in Donetsk, is the founding father of Ukraine’s “Union of the LGBT+ Army,” which counts 1000’s of members.

“We’re all equal right here,” Pylypenko informed Newsplaneta Information’ Ramy Inocencio. “We’re preventing for freedom of our nation.”

Lots of Pylpypenko’s colleagues have died by his aspect. He says he is by no means felt discrimination, and that it is vital to be out as a homosexual man.

“As a result of openness modifications issues, modifications angle,” he mentioned.

There may be nonetheless a protracted option to go when it comes to altering attitudes in Ukraine. Practically one in two Ukrainians reviews feeling negatively concerning the homosexual neighborhood. That proportion is reducing amongst youthful individuals. The extra spiritual and extra pro-Russian areas of the nation are the least tolerant.

“Russia did not depart any possibility for us. Like, you’ll be able to’t shield human rights in Ukraine and not using a gun now,” Borys Milewski informed Newsplaneta Information from Kyiv’s bohemian, gay-friendly Podil district. He was ready for orders to return to the frontlines.

Milewski has fought towards Russia for the reason that battle began — not for land, cash, and even homosexual rights, he mentioned.

“It is my private freedom. It is my have to reside in a free nation with democracy,” Milewski mentioned.

Milewski informed Newsplaneta Information that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has unified the nation towards Russia’s battle, and that Ukraine’s LGBTQ+ neighborhood is hopeful about each a hate crimes invoice and identical intercourse civil union invoice now on the desk.

In the meantime, on the frontline in japanese Ukraine, Pylypenko mentioned his nation cannot afford to lose the battle.

“Will probably be an entire catastrophe… Putin’s ideology is homophobia, so disrespect in the direction of human rights,” he mentioned.

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