Ukraine civil rights revolution: no gays allowed
They fought, risked their lives and died in the name of revolution. But now many gays in Ukraine struggle with disappointment, and the word “sellout” is the most popular word among them. Ukraine is in the middle of the biggest civil rights uprising in modern history of Eastern Europe, but the new revolutionary government is actively fighting against civil rights for LGBT citizens. Now, even the EU might be reluctant to fight for them
Kyiv is getting back to normal very quickly. Downtown streets that just one month ago looked like war battlefields with blood and dead bodies, are now full of busy crowds and tourists. I’m heading to one such place, popular among local teens and hipsters, to meet Olena Shevchenko, an LGBT activist turned revolutionary paramilitary. I heard a lot of stories about her, how an openly gay girl managed to form a women-only military unit on Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Ukrainian). Some call them “Maidan amazons”, so I would expect to see a woman of solid constitution in paramilitary clothes and what I actually see is a regular girl of low stature wearing jeans with a nice sweater. Only her firm handshake gives me the vibe that I’ve met the right person.
Olena joined the revolution from the very first days, but the idea to form a women-only “sotnya” (a Cossack term for a group of one hundred fighters) came a bit later. It was a response to rising sexism inside the barricaded Independence Square, she says. Back then at least half of the protesters were women; they were helping to build barricades, breaking the pavement for bricks to fight and doing a lot of hard physical work. ‘And then we hear opposition leaders and local media calling for women to go to revolutionary kitchens to prepare sandwiches for fighting men, to support men, to love men, to hug men, to give them an inspiration to go to the barricades and other gibberish. The man was shown as an active person that does something, and the woman as some kind of unimportant maid. We said “enough”’, Olena tells me with a defiant smile.
Who’s gonna run South/East Ukraine in case of Russia’s annexation? Guys like this one @ has met in Odessa
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