“I am not a traitor”
Les left Ukraine shortly after the war began. First, they were ashamed, many people from their country criticized the decision. Today Les understands that not everyone is able to fight. Les contributes from abroad. Our columnist Iryna Hanenkova spoke with them. Here’s Les’ story.
I am Les (they/it/their), 20 years old. I am a non-binary, polyamorous, sexually free person from Kharkiv.
More than a year has passed since Russia invaded Ukraine. I went abroad a few weeks after the war started. And you can’t imagine how many people called me a traitor. They accused me of having abandoned my family, of looking only after myself. For enjoying life in Europe. P.S. This is no fun. You have to fucking work, work and work again.
Almost nothing has changed, except that here are no explosions.
The war has affected everyone
My war experience is limited to two weeks living in a basement. No, I have never seen a Russian soldier in person. Am I lucky?
Probably not, because the war has affected everyone in some way. Are my experiences, yours or anyone else’s more important than others? I do not think so.
I have decided to help Ukraine my way, using my resources. I donate when I have left some money, I take part in volunteer campaigns, I explain, give answers, I support my country where I can. Not all people are fighters and that’s totally okay.
It’s like flying: First I use the mask myself, then I’ll help children next to me. Because if I lose myself, who will make its small “contribution” to the long-awaited “peace”?
This is how you can help
INDIVIDUAL HELP Munich Kyiv Queer has its own fundraising campaign via www.paypal.me/ConradBreyer to support people in Ukraine who need help and are not organised in the local LGBTIQ*-groups. We can help fast, directly and unbureaucratically.
HELP FOR LGBTIQ* ORGANISATIONS To support LGBTIQ* in Ukraine we have helped set up the Alliance Queer Emergency Aid Ukraine, in which around 40 German LGBTIQ* Human Rights organisations are involved. All these groups have access to very different Human Rights organisations in Ukraine and use funds for urgently needed care or evacuation of queer people. Every donation helps and is used 100 percent to benefit queer people in Ukraine. Donate here