Ukraine, Europe

 In Ukraine homosexual sex was legalised and the age of consent equalized in 1991 but there is no recognition with respect to gay marriage or civil unions and there are no anti-discrimination laws. For better or worse, gay Ukrainians have been ignored by the political establishment. The country is conservative, mainly Orthodox Christian.  The  Constitution states that citizens are equal before law, but sexual orientation is not specifically mentioned. However, the list of grounds of discrimination includes an "on other basis", which could be used for gay protection, but it has never been tested in court. In June 2008 three leading gay and lesbian organizations in the Ukraine formed the Union of Gay Organizations of Ukraine (UGOU). The groups' purpose was to unite activists in three main areas: advocating rights and freedoms of gay people, mobilizing the gay community and improving the effectiveness of HIV-infection prevention among homosexuals. The Gay Alliance, Gay Alliance Cerkasy, and Nash Mir Gay & Lesbian Center provide an even wider range of information, advocacy, social, and health protection services.

For LGBT citizens in the southern peninsula of Crimea everything changed in 2014 when Russia forced its way into the area and then imposed a referendum that was approved by most people (ethnic Russians) to become a province of Russia. This meant that the existing laws of Russia came into force including the highly discriminatory anti-gay propaganda law which forbids any public advocacy or portrayal of LGBT life or rights. The quiet tolerance of gay citizens became an intolerance and many gay Crimeans moved away to the Ukrainian mainland where they could at least breathe more freely without police intervention in their lives. A recent report in Time magazine described how the last gay venue--Qbar in Sebastopol--closed and the owners, a gay male couple and their son, moved to Kiev.

 

 

 

 

Gay Life in Ukraine 2012-14

Introduction There are many fronts in the universal struggle for gay rights and LGBT equality. Some of these fronts are violent, some are passive, some are out and proud and colorful while others are underground. All of them involve courage, stealth, strategic planning, public relations, political lobbying and greater or lesser amounts of money. In… Read more »

Gay Ukraine After the Revolution: Life is Dangerous

Activist Globa Bogdan, who had his hopes for Kiev Pride dashed this year, says the culture of machismo threatens LGBT Ukrainians.   By Thom Senzee July 09 2014 The Advocate (http://www.advocate.com/world/2014/07/09/kiev-activist-life-dangerous-lgbt-ukrainians) (Photo right: activist Globa Bogdan at Baltimore Pride 2013 ) For Bogdan Globa, founder and executive director of Tochka Opory|Fulcrum, an LGBT rights advocacy… Read more »

Best Gay Nude Beach in Ukraine: Simeiz Village

Below is an article from the Ukrainian gay newspaper ‘Our World’ praising the attractions of this heavenly beautiful place. Introduction The fame of Simeiz (located on the Crimean peninsula, near the city of Yalta) as a gay resort goes as far back as to the 70s, when homosexuality was still criminally prosecuted and hundreds of… Read more »

  Ukraine, Lviv Photos 1

Lviv is the largest city in western Ukraine and is regarded as one of the main cultural centers of the country. The old heart of Lviv with its 19th century buildings and cobblestone roads survived World War II and then the Soviet occupation largely unscathed. There are many industries and institutions of higher education such… Read more »

  Ukraine, Lviv Photos 2

Lviv is the largest city in western Ukraine and is regarded as one of the main cultural centers of the country. The old heart of Lviv with its 19th century buildings and cobblestone roads survived World War II and then the Soviet occupation largely unscathed. There are many industries and institutions of higher education such… Read more »

  Ukraine, Kiev Photos 2

Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, is a progressive stylish and educated city with magnificent church architecture, world class museums and a long history of invasion and occupation. Today it vibrates with modern life, high tech, antique shops and vegetable markets .  

  Ukraine, Kiev Photos 1

Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population is about 3 million. It is a major industrial, scientific and cultural center for Eastern Europe. It is also the location for many  industries, schools and universities and… Read more »

  Yalta, Crimea, Ukraine

Yalta is an historic resort city that bubbles with modern life, cruise ships, shops and restaurants and a long waterfront promenade along the Black Sea. Surrounding the city are snowcapped pine covered mountains, vast vineyards and sprawling suburban townships. Since the 19th century the city was a health spa for health impaired aristocrats and commoners… Read more »

  Balaklava, Ukraine

Balaklava is today a sleepy and charming harbor town with yachts, cafes, high hills and a 15th century Genovese castle ruin. Its history goes back 2500 years. However, it’s history is darker and more ominous than now meets the eye. In the mid 20th century here was located an enormous and highly secretive Soviet nuclear… Read more »

  Odessa, Ukraine 1

Odessa, Ukraine is a lively commercial, industrial, touristic port city on the Black Sea. It was once the valued seaport for the Soviet Union. Today it still houses some of Russia’s naval ships, by agreement until 2036. The city is famous for it Potemkin  Steps, 192 granite steps (installed in 1841) that lead down to… Read more »

  Odessa, Ukraine 2

Odessa, Ukraine is a lively commercial, industrial, touristic port city on the Black Sea. It was once the valued seaport for the Soviet Union. Today it still houses some of Russia’s naval ships, by agreement until 2036. Each year the city mounts a ‘Carnival Humorina’ with a colorful parade of revelers in costumes, funny facial… Read more »

Gay Ukraine Up Close

Introduction Here are two personal testimonies from gay Ukrainian men who know well the ardors of living gay in Ukraine. The first is from a well know TV entertainer and singer who quit the scene rather than be humiliated. The second is by an angry man who has felt confined and limited by his society… Read more »

Gay Life in Ukraine 2008

Introduction From the far reaches on the steppes of Eurasia, a American gay couple residing in Ukraine write about their experience in this difficult new nation: “For the gay male tourist, you are truly in the land of beautiful boys (no attitude and no body fascism).  Of course, we are not as exciting as Berlin… Read more »