News (World)

Ukraine just held its first Pride event in years despite Russia’s continued invasion

London, UK - 2 July 2022: person standing with a Ukraine protest sign amongst LGBTQ+ Pride flags
Photo: Shutterstock

On Sunday, LGBTQ+ Ukrainian military servicemembers held their first Pride event in three years, directly in front of the capital of Kyiv, Ukraine.

Organizers described the struggles they overcame to hold these celebrations — pushing against war, anti-LGBTQ protestors, and even the rain to hold the festivities.

“For security reasons, this year the number of participants was limited, as we did not publicize the time and location of the promotion,” KyivPride wrote in a post on X. “KyivPride last applied such restrictions back in 2015. Despite the fact that an action against the March took place nearby, KyivPride passed without clashes.”

The 2015 Pride parade faced clashes with anti-LGBTQ protestors, resulting in injuries for ten marchers and several police officers.

But this year, KyivPride said over 500 people attended. Attendees were told of the event through word of mouth at the last minute to avoid any conflict with counter-protestors.

“During the March, we all thanked the military for the opportunity to live in Ukraine and continue to fight for our rights,” the organization said.

The march itself was limited in scope due to police intervention – marchers were only able to walk about 100 meters for about 30 minutes before they had to disperse.

Attendees chanted things like “Russia is a terrorist state” and “Make Russia pay.”

The organizers of KyivPride believe that police overestimated the risks they faced, and that it was largely a safe event.

“Human rights are about equal people having equal opportunities. The police assured that no one was holding mobile actions in Kyiv, instead they allowed people who threatened the March to walk through the city center,” wrote Anna Sharygina, head of KyivPride, in a statement posted to X.

“The march was surrounded by borders of policemen and buses and allowed to pass only 100 [meters]. We took several steps, made this compromise for the sake of safety and to revive the tradition and make a powerful and open Kyiv Pride March next year.”

Organizers of the march also advocated for two proposed laws in Ukraine to be passed. Draft Law No. 5488 would enshrine anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ Ukrainians, and Draft Law 9301 would allow for same-sex civil partnerships in the country.

Authorities in Kyiv rejected another march, proposed earlier this month, which would have been hosted in the subway system.

Also earlier this month, Kyiv Pride announced a fundraiser for international allies of queer Ukrainians to support future Pride events and to help protect national queers in light of attacks on LGBTQ+ rights and the Russian invasion.

KyivPride concluded by saying, “We want to thank our military, everyone who joined us today and who were with us in spirit. Thank you for the support of the media and businesses – it is extremely important! We thank the Kyiv authorities for their position on the protection of human rights and their support”

Don't forget to share:

Good News is your section for queer joy! Subscribe to our newsletter to get the most positive and fun stories from the site delivered to your inbox every weekend. Send us your suggestions for uplifiting and inspiring stories.

Support vital LGBTQ+ journalism

Reader contributions help keep LGBTQ Nation free, so that queer people get the news they need, with stories that mainstream media often leaves out. Can you contribute today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated

10 surprising things you never knew about Pete Buttigieg

Previous article

Marjorie Taylor Greene begs voters to elect “horrible, sh**ty” Republicans

Next article