With the subsequent ousting of pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych – who was known to court president Vladimir Putin’s favour by emulating his infamous “anti-gay laws” – the LGBT community was optimistic that attitudes would change.
However, two years on many have since found that persecution and prejudice continues, and that the freedoms called for by the protesters in Kiev’s independence square have been unevenly applied in post-revolution Ukraine – particularly when it comes to sexuality.
In the western city of Lviv local authorities announced earlier this month they could not protect a festival organised by an LGBT organisation, allowing the hotel where the event was about to take place to become surrounded by far-right activists in masks shouting “kill, kill, kill”. The organisers were forced to cancel the event and leave the city over fears for their safety.
“The situation can lean either way,” says Kis, explaining that with the Maidan protests now playing a key part in the narrative of the “new Ukraine” the LGBT community – despite being on the frontlines of the unrest – has struggled to find its place. Read more via the Guardian