LGBTIQ* in Ukraine – How we can help now!

03.03.2022 | cb — No comments

Ukraine is fighting for its existence. On 24th of February, Putin’s regime attacked: Millions of people are fleeing, thousands are dying. Among the victims of this war are also many lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, inter* and queer people, who are considered a particularly vulnerable group.

Ukraine, although a conservative country at its core, has made enormous progress in recent years in terms of social acceptance of sexual minorities, even if legal equality is still a long way off.

Munich Kyiv Queer during OdesaPride 2019. Stefan Block is staying behind the banner (3rd from the right). Photo: MKQ

The attack from Russia, whose government has been restricting the rights of homosexuals and trans* persons for years, is now calling all this into question. Many fear a hunt for LGBTIQ* people, as the world experienced in Chechnya in 2017. The rumour of “lists” with Human Rights activists on it is doing the rounds.

Act now!

Munich’s community, which has maintained an intensive partnership with its friends in the twin city of Kyiv for already ten years now, is helping. We offer support, collect donations, help refugees, look for accommodation and help with integration in Germany.

Qwerty Queer singing at Various Voices 2018. Olha Rubtsova is conducting the choir. Photo: MKQ

We talk about the situation with Olha Rubtsova, an LGBTIQ* activist from Odesa who fled the bombs via Bulgaria to Munich a few days ago, and Stefan Block, a member of Munich Kyiv Queer. Moderation: Stefan-Maria Mittendorf.

Stefan Block, 38, has been involved in Munich’s LGBTIQ* community for years; first with the youth organisation Diversity, then with Munich Kyiv Queer. In 2014, he joined the group that campaigns for the rights of sexual minorities in Ukraine. He works as a civil servant for Bavaria.

Olha Rubtsova is a dentist from Odesa. The 36-year-old gained some notoriety by founding the first queer choir in Ukraine. In 2014, Qwerty Queer formed under her leadership and has become a role model for other LGBTIQ* choirs in the country; she has even launched a queer choir festival for Ukraine. Olha Rubtsova is also active in the queer theatre scene. Her last premiere, planned for 27th of February, could not happen because of the war. Over 100 people wanted to come.

Stefan-Maria Mittendorf is 52 years old, an art historian and curator of contemporary art, and has been acting exhibition director at the Pasinger Fabrik since 1st of February 2022. Mittendorf curated the exhibition “Ukraine: Learning from a good neighbour” in 2018 and in 2019 “We are there, where we were going. A reserve look into tomorrow of Eastern Partnership Countries: Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia”. Both exhibitions were created in cooperation with the Consulate General of Ukraine in Munich.

A benefit event by Pasinger Fabrik in cooperation with Munich Kyiv Queer.

When: Tuesday, 8 March, 8 pm
Where: Pasinger Fabrik, August-Exter-Str.1, 81245 Munich; small stage.
Organized by: Pasinger Fabrik, Munich Kyiv Queer

Admission: free! Donations are welcome!

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