LVIV - The Ukrainian LGBTQI + community has been trying to organize parades since 2012 - then the organizers of the event canceled them because they were afraid for their safety. Today they are fighting not only for their rights but also at the frontline.

Ukraine has never been a paradise for LGBTQI+ community", LGBTQI+ activist Olena Shevchenko and researcher Maryna Shevtsova state. After Euromaidan (2013-2014) public attitudes towards LGBTQI + community in Ukraine worsened. Nationalist right-wing groups, which could count on the support of a large part of the society due to their active role in the Revolution of Dignity, began to promote a vision of the Ukrainian nation based on traditional, conservative values.

LGBTQI+ persons were presented as a threat to Ukrainian identity. The annexation of Crimea and the outbreak of the war in Donbas have deepened these tendencies. Nationalist groups incited hatred against minority representatives - as those who do not fit the norm.

Since the Russian invasion in Ukraine, the situation of the LGBTQI+ community has further deteriorated - marginalized groups are at greater risk of violence during the war, experts say. This project documents the struggle of LGBTQI+ persons in a war-torn country. 

©Marek Kowalczyk

Team members

Ula Idzikowska

Ula Idzikowska is a Polish journalist and a reporter.

Ula Idzikowska

Marek Kowalczyk

Marek Kowalczyk is a Polish photographer and camera operator.

Marek Kowalczyk

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