Solidarity in the crisis – Let’s go to Kiev Pride!

Lesbians and Gays protest at KyivPride 2013 for their rights. This year in Kiev, Munich’s partner city the KyivPride event is planned to happen again. In the face of the crisis of state, many people have been planning locally for months for the Pride Week and March of Equality. At least the Pride Week with its wide cultural programme should happen. CSD München hopes for many participants from the Munichs lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans community. It failed in 2012 but that made it an even greater success in 2013. What’s going to happen with KyivPride in 2014? Pride week from 29th June to 6th July should happen whatever the circumstances, on 5th July the March of Equality too, if this is possible. CSD München and Munich Kiev Queer, both in friendship and contact with the partner pride and lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans (LGBT) scene in Kiev call on all of Munich to take part. The local situation say the organisers in Kiev allows the community to hold the Pride Week events in safe spaces. 20 people have been working since months to get this week organized. They come from all LGBT organisations and NGOs in Munich’s partner city. They’ve got the scene mobilized, the finances are flowing, the programme is taking shape and now they need every possible support that they can get. The Munich community has been working together with many of these people for years. CSD München and KyivPride started their own cooperation in 2012 2013 many people from Munich travelled to Kiev, even Wieland and Uwe from Munich Kiev Queer. “We need solidarity from Munich right now”, says Stanislav Mishchenko, International Secretary of Kyiv Pride, who coordinates the international partners. “Particuarly the community here must have the feeling that they are not alone. We are part of a larger European LGBT family that stands together and transcends borders. Munich is close to our hearts, we have many friends there. We would be happy to welcome them as our guests. The people from the contact group Munich Kiev Queer that coordinates the joint activities outside of the Pride cooperation want to take part in the Pride Week if possible with the option to visit the March of Equality if that makes sense to the local Ukrainian activists. “Of course participation is voluntary” says Conrad Breyer, who manages the cooperation with KyivPride for CSD München. “More important is that we stand with our friends during the PrideWeek and bring a contribution. It would be good if as many people as possible from the scene were there.” We also call on the city councillors of Munich to push on the issue of human rights in our twin city. Last year Munich sent a 20 strong delegation to Kiev, led by mayor Hep Monatzeder and councillors Lydia Dietrich and Reinhard Bauer. Protected by hundreds of police it was possible to hold the parade on 25th May. The message sent out was clear, Ukraine kept to its responsibilitis to protect the rights of all citizens. 2012 KyivPride had to be cancelled due to aggressive nationalists everywhere. People travelling to Kiev do have to carry the costs themselves though flights booked with Ukrainian International Airlines are good value if booked in advance. And the participants from Munich can share pleasant, comfortable and reasonably priced holiday apartments with other people, which last year’s delegation found really good. Kiev is a really beautiful city which is offers a lot fort he tourist to discover. CSD München will organise an activities program for the visiting delegates. As well the official Pride Week program it is planned to visit NGOs and LGBT groups and projects like the newly opened Queer Homes. Of course security ist the number one issue. “Our partner organisations in Kiev never left us on our own last year” says Conrad Breyer. “Security was the top priority. Homophobes didn’t have at any time the opportunity to disrupt the Pride Week.” The local organisers work closely with Amnesty International Ukraine, this proved itself in 2013. CSD München, supported here from the Culture Department of Munich City Council, will contribute to the Pride Week with its own events. Furthermore the visitors from Munich will also play a big part in the official Pride party on Saturday. Back to overview