Queerty is better as a member

Log in | Register
  STRIDE OF PRIDE

WATCH: Ukraine’s First Ever Gay Pride March Goes Off, Mostly, Without A Hitch

Pride season is upon us but for some, being out and proud comes at a high cost. In Ukraine, where homophobia is not only widespread but socially acceptable, about a hundred LGBTs marched on Saturday amidst fears of violence and protests.

“This can be considered a historic day,” Elena Semyonova, a representative of the organizers, told the AFP. “We felt like we were full-fledged citizens whose rights are respected.”

Unlike the major pride parades bearing shirtless hunks, dykes on bikes and giant floats in the middle of the street, the brief, 20-minute march was a decidedly low-key affair. Organizers advised participants to dress comfortably and eschew earrings and other accessories to make for a potential quick getaway.

They were right to worry as leading up to the march, city authorities received over 5oo complaints from the public and more than 60 parliamentary lawmakers signed a letter calling for a ban on all gay pride events. Then at the last minute, a Ukraine court ruled that no events could be staged in the centre of Kiev on Saturday because of City Day celebrations, leading pride organizers to opt for a smaller gathering in a far more remote setting.

Of course, that didn’t keep 400-500 protesters from coming out and voicing their opposition, heavily outnumbering the marchers, which included gays from Denmark, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands. While some religious activists fell to their knees yelling “gays out of Ukraine,” gay activists held their ground, chanting “human rights are my pride.” All and all, around 30 protesters were detained by police.

This is in stark contrast to Ukraine’s soviet sister Russia. Police quickly broke up a pride parade in Moscow and arrested about 30 activists and organizers on Saturday, prompting Russian activist Nikolai Bayev to praise the Ukrainian government for allowing the march to happen at all, noting, “It is of course a more progressive country than Russia.”

By:           Les Fabian Brathwaite
On:           May 28, 2013
Tagged: , , , , ,

  • 4 Comments
    • Alexspade93
      Alexspade93

      I was there. It was very scary, but we have all experienced tremendous pride. This is the first Pride in Ukraine ever, which took place safely.

      May 28, 2013 at 3:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alexspade93
      Alexspade93

      I was there. It was very scary, but we all have experienced tremendous pride. This is the first Pride in Ukraine ever, which took place safely.

      May 28, 2013 at 3:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lefty
      Lefty

      @Alexspade93: Congratulations and huge respect to everyone who was there! x

      May 28, 2013 at 4:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hephaestion
      hephaestion

      Congratulations to the brave gays & lesbians of Ukraine. I don’t understand how Russia and Ukraine became so ignorant about gays. They have decades of educating to do.

      May 28, 2013 at 8:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

    Add your Comment

    Please log in to add your comment

    Need an account? Register It's free and easy.



  • POPULAR ON QUEERTY

    FOLLOW US
     



    GET QUEERTY'S DAILY NEWSLETTER


    FROM AROUND THE WEB

    Copyright 2014 Queerty, Inc.
    Follow Queerty at Queerty.com, twitter.com/queerty and facebook.com/queerty.