“I am OUT of Ukraine. I am IN Ukraine”

08.10.2022 | cb — No comments

An exhibition provides insights into the fates of queer people from Ukraine during the war. From November 3, the twelve photo collages will hang in the gay-queer centre SUB, Müllerstraße 14, curated by our partner KyivPride. At the opening, Lenny Emson, Executive Director of the organisation, will introduce the stories of those portrayed.

Since the Pride, portraits of Ukrainian LGBTIQ* people have been displayed in the windows of the diversity Café, Blumenstraße 29. They are clearly visible from the outside, describing lives of queer people in and with the war. Some help, some fight, others had to leave their country. Now the exhibition is coming to SUB.

Munich’s gay community centre has invited Lenny Emson, head of KyivPride, to the opening on Thursday, November 3. KyivPride made the exhibition available for us.

What to do? Stay, leave?

In an interview situation with Conrad Breyer, spokesperson of Munich Kyiv Queer, Lenny will reveal the intention of KyivPride’s exhibition “I am OUT of Ukraine. I am IN Ukraine” and how the twelve portraits were created. But the focus should definitely lie on the people that the portaits show.

As speakers are invited Consul Dmytro Shevchenko from the Ukrainian Consulate General in Munich (video message) and City Councillor Dominik Krause, who has accompanied Munich Kyiv Queer to Munich’s Partner Pride in Kyiv for many years now on behalf of Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter.

War is always about decisions: Should I leave the country? Do I stay? How can I support my family, friends and, last but not least, the community to which I belong?

These twelve portraits provide rare insights to such questions. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, non-binary, trans* and queer people from Ukraine tell us their stories. We present three of them here. There is, for example:

Nika, trans* woman from Kharkiv, 24 years old

Until February 24, her life was quite exciting: Nika is a designer and so she drew animated clips for a big TV station.

Now she uses her skills to explain to people how to behave in case of an air alert. And, of course, she also tells stories that are meant to give hope. “But there are fewer and fewer of those,” she says.

Arthur, drag queen from Kyiv, 33 years old

As AuRa, the gay artist Arthur is performing on stage. Before the war started, he didn’t even think of having his coming out. Recently, someone else did it for him and he was in total panic – coming out in the middle of a war!

But everything went well, everyone stayed calm, friendly, showed openness. “Ukraine’s society is changing incredibly fast at the moment,” says Arthur. “We are rethinking everything and creating a new country.” And finally:

Nastya hopes for a quick victory. Photo: KyivPride

Nastya, lesbian, drone pilot in the Ukrainian army

The 32 year old from Kyiv is very hopeful that the war will bring equal rights and acceptance for LGBTIQ*. She was a fitness instructor before 24 February, but now her job in the army is more important to her. “Right now it’s all about how to accelerate the victory.”

Fortunately, she has a commander with integrity who doesn’t care “who sleeps with whom”, as he says. Her comrades don’t make fun of her. “We have too much work for that.” She thinks that queer people have to be visible, even in the army. “Because it’s a war of freedom – for every single one of us.”

Over the past few months, KyivPride has interviewed women* and men* about their lives before and after the war started. The results are sensitive self-portraits of people of all possible gender identities and sexual orientations who bravely face their fate.

When: Thursday, 3 November 2022, 7.30 pm
Where: SUB, Müllerstraße 14, München
Organised by: KyivPride, SUB, Munich Kyiv Queer

Here is how you can help:

Individual help

Munich Kyiv Queer has its own fundraising campaign via to support people in Ukraine with whom we have worked closely over the past ten years. They are our friends and partners. We know them personally and we miss them. We can help fast, directly and unbureaucratically.


If you want to support KyivPride directly, you can do so here. With your donation you support the activities of KyivPride, which bring diversity into the Ukrainian society. Most importantly, you are currently providing funds to the shelter that KyivPride runs to care for LGBTIQ* in need from all parts of the country.


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