January 21, 2015 – Reported by LGBT Weekly – It wasn’t supposed to begin like this. But exactly 14 months to the day after the Euromaidan protests, the Ukraine, unburdened by the heavy-handed influence of Russia, has seen a rise in homophobia and a willingness by the country’s relatively liberal gay community to squash equally revolutionary tactics for wider acceptance.
In a thought-provoking piece on ForeignPolicy.com, Dimiter Kenarov retraces the steps leading up to a cultural, political and economic war against the Ukrainian LGBT community that was supposed to be anything but.
As the narrative goes, the Ukraine, in a bloody, often times lopsided military campaign, unshackled itself from the wizened Cold War grip of once-mother-country Russia. The plan was for the Ukraine to turn to the West, not only to gain acceptance in the European Union, but to prove that the country was an economically viable country to do business with.
But even the pessimists among the LGBT community could not have anticipated the levels of hate that rose from the ashes of a new Ukraine. There was the grenade bombing of Kiev’s Zhovten (October) theater, the oldest in the city where Les Nuits d’Été (Summer Nights) was playing as part of Ukraine’s annual Molodist film festival, which included a selection of queer-themed features, and many in the audience — about a hundred people in all — belonged to Kiev’s LGBT community. The ensuing fire destroyed the roof of this iconic theater and rendered it useless. No one was injured…Story continues below…