IDAHOT Events 2015: Ukraine

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The organisation Gender Z once again held their ‘traditional’ Rainbow Flashmob in the city of Zaporizhia while ‘LIGA’ organised events in Mykolaiv. In Kiev, a dozen people held a flash mob and a interview with Olena Shevchenko was aired.

[box type=”note” ]We are still busy collecting information on this year’s IDAHOT activities and are waiting to hear back from activists and event organisers. If you have information to share with us, please write us at[/box]

Rainbow Flashmob in Zaporizhia

IDAHOT in Zaporizhia, Ukraine: Everyone has the Right to happiness
 We strive for being ourselves
17 May became the perfect occasion for the local LGBT community of the city of Zaporizhia once again to demonstrate their visibility, to celebrate achieved progress in the fight against homophobia and to state out loud that in Ukraine there is a group of people who are not available to certain rights.
This year Zaporizhia LGBT organization Gender Z held in Zaporizhia its traditional campaign, which organizers call “Rainbow flashmob” because of rainbow balloon release, although the format of such rainbow event changes from year to year.
The main slogan of the 2015 IDAHOT event was “Everyone has the right to happiness”. And the idea of ​​the event was to shoot a short video on which the participants of the flashmob would draw up with their bodies different figures, symbolizing equality, and to finish the video with forming the slogan.
“The most important thing is that into this year’s event preparation and performance for the first time not only representatives of the LGBT community were involved, but also students from local universities. The fact that this year we reached out to representatives of university students gives us a lot of hope. In general the lack of allies and supporters is the hugest problem for Ukraine as it is treated more prestigious for a lot of people to support “traditional values”. And although we are still far from open support from the side of groups of allies but these are first steps in this direction” – said Rostyslav Milevskyi, director of Gender Z.
At the end of the performance participants launched into the sky colorful balloons, symbolizing the dream of the hatred and homophobia free world. And then, traditionally, it was a picnic where people could have fun in an informal atmosphere.

South of Ukraine

In the South of Ukraine, the LGBT Association ‘LiGA’, Mykolaiv, held actions on IDAHOT in Mykolaiv. Find the pictures of the event in Mykolayiv on May 16 here.

In commemoration of IDAHOT, the NASH MIR Centre in Kiev launched the paper “ON THE EDGE: Addressing Discrimination and Inequality in Ukraine”. This 180 page publication covers broad range of issues: legal framework, discrimination of various vulnerable groups, including LGBT. It is result of 2,5 year project of Nash Mir, The Equal Rights Trust (U.K.) and number of Ukrainian NGOs. Project is funded by Delegation of EC to Ukraine.

A group of a dozen people held a flash mob in Kiev for IDAHOT. Ukraine_IDAHOT2015
In an interview with Hromadske, the Ukrainian Activist Olena Shevchenko talked about the situation for LGBT people in the Ukraine.
Hromadske International’s Maxim Eristavi and Sabra Ayres spoke with Olena Shevchenko on May 17, 2015.

Progress for LGBT rights in Ukraine has stagnated, Olena Shevchenko, a prominent Ukrainian LGBT activist, told Hromadske. Although the Maidan revolution mobilized Ukrainians, the LGBT community now understands that the protest movement was not about human rights and since then the community has not strengthened. “This is the biggest disappointment for the LBGT community”, said Shevchenko.
A flash mob held in Kyiv to mark International Day against Homophobia was attended by just couple of dozens of people. According to Shevchenko, the low attendance at the flash mob can be attributed to the fact that they feared prompting the event because the potential of homophobic backlash. In contrast at an IDAHOT rally in St Petersburg, Russia 350 people attended which organizers say makes it the biggest rally in Russia’s history.
The Ukrainian authorities are also adding to the lack of progress in LGBT rights, said Shevchenko, the homophobic attitudes within society extend to the highest levels. The authorities have told the LGBT community they are unable to introduce laws against hate crimes and discrimination because of the country’s “critical situation of conflict with Russia”. Shevchenko told Hromadske that in Russia activists are comparatively more galvanized because of the government’s anti-gay propaganda and discrimination laws.
Another factor adding to the stagnation of the LGBT community in Ukraine, added Shevchenko, is the lack of LGBT role models. For most people being gay is a distant concept and people are too afraid to come out publicly.

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