Polish, Ukrainian activists march for LGBTQ rights

Revelers watch a efficiency in a nightclub throughout an LGBTQ occasion because the Kyiv Pleasure Parade was cancelled as a consequence of Russia’s navy invasion launched on Ukraine, in Kyiv, on June 25, 2022. AFP

WARSAW — Ukrainians had been amongst tens of hundreds of LGBTQ activists who took half within the Polish capital’s Pleasure parade Saturday, in a rustic internet hosting tens of hundreds of Ukrainians who’ve fled the Russian invasion.

The march nonetheless began with a minute of silence for 2 individuals killed in a taking pictures close to a homosexual bar in Norway’s capital Oslo within the early hours of Saturday.

Norwegian police have arrested a person suspected of “Islamist terrorism” over the taking pictures, which additionally wounded 21 and brought on Oslo’s Pleasure to be referred to as off.

However Norway’s ambassador to Poland Anders Eide mentioned love and justice would “prevail”.

“Our battle for equal rights for all and our help for the LGBTQ+ neighborhood is unequivocal and it’ll stay so,” he instructed AFP at the beginning of the procession.

Lenny Emson, director of the Kyiv Pleasure, thanked the Warsaw Pleasure and Polish neighborhood for together with Ukraine’s LGBTQ activists of their parade.

Emson mentioned the Ukrainian LGBTQ neighborhood needed its rights to outlive however that, for that to occur, warfare in Ukraine wanted to cease.

Poland has hosted by far the biggest variety of Ukrainian refugees throughout the European Union — greater than 1.1 million in keeping with the most recent UN figures.

The Warsaw Pleasure is being held with full backing from town’s liberal mayor Rafal Trzaskowski.

However different components of the nation, which is dominated by a right-wing authorities, are much less welcoming of gender or sexual minorities.

In 2020, worldwide non-governmental organisation ILGA-Europe ranked Poland forty fourth out of 49 European international locations in upholding LGBTQ rights.

Ukraine got here thirty ninth.

Small Kyiv gathering

Within the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, dozens of remaining members of the LGBTQ neighborhood held a small gathering at an evening membership within the centre of city.

Inside, a pair embraced wrapped in a yellow and blue Ukrainian flag as dancers on stage carried out to the sound of the Village Folks’s “YMCA”.

“What’s most essential is to just accept individuals as they’re,” mentioned 28-year-old Victoria Myhoula. Folks ought to at the start give attention to “what we will do right now to assist our nation”.

Virtually 4 months after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the European Union on Thursday granted the war-torn nation candidate standing.

“If we’re inching in direction of the European Union, we have to present that society is open” in Ukraine, Myhoula added.

Nightclub sponsor Oleksiy Krasnenko, 26, mentioned he was proud to be contributing a few of its earnings to the Ukrainian military to assist repel the Russian invasion.

“Ukraine is a free, open nation,” he mentioned, although admitting there was some discrimination.

Over the last Kyiv Pleasure earlier than the coronavirus pandemic in 2019, police deployed en masse as a result of far-right and Orthodox Cristian activists staged counter-protests.

Whereas low-key, Saturday’s occasion did nonetheless appeal to a small group of younger males in military-type clothes, who sparked a short battle outdoors the venue. Police swiftly broke it up.


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