Powerful Ukraine Pride photos show thousands defiantly marching for LGBT+ liberation


Thousands marched peacefully for LGBT+ rights in Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv on Sunday (19 September), braving crowds of counter-protesters who were held back by lines of police.

Organisers said about 7,000 people attended the Kyiv Equality March, each one defying fierce opposition from religious and nationalist groups.

Although their numbers were slightly lower than the 8,000 who attended in 2019 they dwarfed the several hundred anti-gay protesters who held their own rally in a nearby park, the Associated Press reported.

Several homophobes held a huge banner bearing the words “LGBT are 0.3 per cent of the population, but 40 cent of the paedophiles,” a common narrative in Ukraine where homophobia is widespread.

Thousands of Pride-goers carrying flags, banners and signs march through the streets of Kyiv (STR/NurPhoto via Getty)

Police lines hold back counter-protestors holding banners that say: ‘LGBT are 0.3% of the population, but 40% of the paedophiles’ and ‘Homosexual propaganda is a threat to national security’ (Pavlo_Bagmut/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media/Getty)

A recent survey by the sociological group “Rating” found that 47 per cent of respondents had a negative view of the LGBT+ community. The country does not allow same-sex couples to marry or adopt children, and workplace discrimination laws do not encompass sexual orientation.

Fortunately no violence broke out as the march was flanked by police in protective gear, and Pride-goers remained undaunted.

“[We] are here at the Pride to support the LGBTQ community in Ukraine,” one marcher, Kateryna Lytvynenko, told AP. “We are here to promote human rights because LGBTQ rights are human rights and, unfortunately, the community faces a lot of violence and discrimination in Ukraine still.”

Police officers in protective gear accompany the marchers (Pavlo_Bagmut/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty)

A colourfully-dressed person waves a non-binary flag while another person in the background holds a sign saying: ‘Live fast, be gay, pet dogs’ (STR/NurPhoto via Getty)

A Pride-goer dons a fancy lampshade for the celebration (Pavlo_Bagmut/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty)

Ukraine’s LGBT+ community came out in force (STR/NurPhoto via Getty)

A counter-protester holds a sign that translates to: ‘God, the Constitution of Ukraine, and human nature is opposed to LGBT in Ukraine’. (Pavlo_Bagmut/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty)

A participant holds a rainbow sign saying ‘Love is love’ (Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty)

Two people in rainbow clothing embrace at the side of the march (STR/NurPhoto/Getty)