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How to Help the LGBTQ+ Community in Ukraine

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Aug 02, 2022

How to Help the LGBTQ+ Community in Ukraine
  • The Russian invasions in Ukraine have caused a lot of fear and uncertainty for many Ukrainian citizens. Dangerous living conditions, lack of shelter, food, and resources, as well as lack of medical care have made living in certain areas an uphill battle. While all citizens are in danger, the LGBTQ+ community is experiencing even more dangerous conditions.

    Queer Ukrainians face risks whether they are staying put or attempting to flee, causing immense mental strain on top of an already dire situation. Helping the LGBTQ community is crucial, and there are many ways to help with or without money.

    What is Happening to the Queer Community in Ukraine During the Attacks by the Russian Government?

    The invasion of Ukraine by the Russian government has caused a very dangerous environment, with queer people facing immense fear of persecution under Russian occupation, where LGBTQ+ people face persecution and torture from the unsupportive government. Russian security agents harass and interrogate queer Ukrainians and go as far as checking phones, getting passwords, and overall invading privacy to get intel on LGBTQ+ activists.

    Being queer is a criminal offence in Russian-occupied Luhansk, Ukraine. With the unsafe conditions in the country, many queer Ukrainians are attempting to flee.

    The Importance of Reaching Out to Help

    Helping the LGBTQ community in Ukraine is more important than ever. The community still faces xenophobia, anti-LGBT sentiment, and exploitation. There’s an extra layer of danger because of the discrimination that they face when seeking asylum. Same-sex marriage is still not recognized and conversion therapy is still legal.

    Though being gay is legal, many Ukrainians disagree with it. 69% of Ukrainians feel that homosexuality should be banned, and the country is considered to be less tolerant of LGBT rights than other European countries.

    What You Can Do (that doesn’t cost money)

    There are many ways you can support those in need without making a financial donation.

    1. Share the work that RUSA-LGBT is doing for queer Ukrainians.

    RUSA-LGBT is an association of Russian and Russian Speaking LGBTQ people in support of Ukraine. They do a lot of work urging the US government to support queer Ukrainians and sharing their story with others will help raise visibility and awareness of what’s happening.

    1. Send letters to representatives in the US government and demand support for queer Ukrainians.

    RUSA-LGBT offers pre-filled letters that you can send to representatives pleading for the support of LGBTQ Ukrainian refugees. Calling your local and state representatives also makes a big impact.

    1. Urge the US to accept Ukrainian refugees.

    By calling your representatives or writing letters, you can press your representatives to accept refugees. Also, attending protests and using your voice can show your support.

    1. Use your social media or online platforms to spread the word about what’s happening to queer Ukrainians.

    Using your online platforms to spread information about the situation in Ukraine or spread links to various resources. Even if you’re unable to donate, by spreading resources, maybe some of your followers will be able to.

    Best Places to Donate To

    1. RUSA-LGBTThis organization is very outspoken about anti-propaganda laws to stop hate against Ukrainians, as well as providing many resources for those seeking asylum. They offer support such as resettlement for LGBTQ Ukrainians.

    2. Humanitarian Aid to UkraineA Bay Area-based nonprofit providing Humanitarian Aid to Ukraine, from medical equipment for wounded soldiers, to dresses and suits for graduation day in orphanages across Ukraine.

    3. US Ukrainian ActivistsA US-based, volunteer-run charity dedicated to supporting Ukraine. 

    4. HospitallersThis volunteer medical battalion provides rotation, transport, and repair of injured Ukrainians.

    5. Outright LGBTQ Ukraine Emergency FundThis fund provides emergency assistance to LGBTIQ Ukrainians who need safe shelter, food, competent medical care, and transportation for those fleeing the country.

    Learn More with HER

    HER app is a great place to connect with a supportive queer community that can provide assistance and possible resources. Through swiping, groups and communities, you’ll be sure to find a great group of people to connect with. Download HER for free today!

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    Alexandra hails from Boston, MA but is currently living in the DC Area. She's passionate about social justice, self-care, spirituality, and watching documentaries. She's no stranger to telling her story through writing and has written for a variety of freelance publications. You can find her on Instagram at @lexlexlexlexlex__.

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