Though it's not commonly known, Ukraine's LGBT community played a significant role in the Maidan revolution which toppled the unpopular government of Viktor Yanukovych some two years ago. Careful not to upset or alienate conservative nationalist elements at the Maidan, LGBT protesters made a tactical decision not to promote their cause openly. According to EU Observer, the LGBT community refrained from brandishing its own slogans and banners lest it provoke homophobic violence. The Observer remarks that "during the revolution, the LGBT community behaved courageously, but also pragmatically: it didn't champion the rights of the gay minority in order not to split Maidan into liberal and illiberal factions."
In the wake of Maidan, however, many within the LGBT community feel betrayed by the very revolution which they helped to spearhead. In Ukraine, all the current talk is about repelling Vladimir Putin and Russian-backed separatists, rather than adhering to liberal-minded values. It's a rather ironic coda to the Maidan, which was initially driven forward by pro-Western and progressive aspirations. Judging from recent events, however, it would appear that Maidan's liberal credo was rather superficial and merely skin deep.
Recently, many conservative Ukrainians seem to be falling back on a common refrain: don't resort to criticism of our country's internal politics, for such "divisive" tactics will only serve to embolden Vladimir Putin. Though these claims rely on a dubious and false equivalency, such arguments seem to be gaining some traction, as my own experience may attest. What is more, political elites have desperately sought to outmaneuver the LGBT community by playing the nationalist card. Read more via Huffington Post