OutRight Action International has launched a fundraiser to support Ukraine’s LGBT+ community as Russian forces move across the country.
Click here to donate: https://outrightinternational.org/ukraine
Russian president Vladimir Putin launched a “special military operation” in Ukraine early Thursday (24 February) morning, prompting widespread condemnation across the world.
Explosions and gunfire have been heard in several cities across the country, and there have been reports of thousands of Ukrainians arriving in neighbouring European nations as they flee from Russian troops.
Leaders in the LGBT+ community have defiantly said they will ‘not be intimidated’ despite fears for their safety and the future of Ukraine.
In response to the violence, OutRight Action International has started to accept financial donations to help queer people direly in need of support during the invasion.
The organisation said that funding will be given to LGBT+ organisations in Ukraine that are preparing to receive queer people in “search of shelter, safety and security”.
“Already, people are leaving Ukraine’s capital Kyiv and the eastern part of the country for, at the moment, safer rural areas and the western parts of the country, while neighbouring EU countries work to prepare shelters for an influx of displaced people,” OutRight said.
“As we know all too well, in times of crisis, LGBTIQ people who are already marginalised face higher risks and cannot count automatically on access to humanitarian and/or social assistance.”
OutRight called on the LGBT+ community to come together “in solidarity” to give queer people “some sense of hope and help” by providing financial support they need to survive and the “resilience they need to thrive”
Emson said it is “not an easy situation to be in” and that there is “some anxiety” as well as “panic”. But he said people in Ukraine are “ready to fight” as “we want this to end” and “want peace”.
Emson said it was his “task as an LGBTQI activist” to “stay with my community and to help them to stay calm, to keep going and keep fighting”.
“Some people are panicking, and some people are anxious,” he said. “We cannot avoid it… but it’s how we manage this panic, how we manage this anxiety. This is what is important in my task as director of the biggest Pride organisations in Ukraine.”
He said that they have received “tonnes of emails, direct messages and posts in social media” showing their support for the LGBT+ community. Emson said this was needed as it helped people “feel that you’re not alone in this”.
He urged people to call on “local authorities, any professionals that you have access” and their governments to help Ukraine.
“Please call on them to stand up right now, to take political action to support Ukraine and to take action against this war,” Emson said. “We are really relying on your help.”