A trans woman in Ukraine has said the community is struggling to access essential healthcare as the Russian war rages on.
Anastasiia, director of Cohort NGO, an organisation for transgender people in Ukraine, has chosen to remain in the country – though many trans people have had that choice taken away from them, and are unable to flee.
“I’m empowered by the opportunity to help people,” Anastasiia told Gaydiohosts Dave Cooper and Paris Munro.
She explained that many trans women are unable to leave because they have male gender markers in their passports. The same is true for cis queer men, and some intersex people.
When asked by Gaydio what the community needs, Anastasiia said: “We need medication [and] hormones.”
Russia has targeted hospitals and other healthcare facilities throughout its barbaric invasion, including children’s hospitals.
The World Health Organisation reported in late March that there had been more than 70 separate attacks on hospitals, ambulances and doctors in Ukraine. It said the number was rising on a daily basis.
Anastasiia also urged Gaydio listeners to support local trans and LGBT+ groups financially. She recommended her organisation, Cohort, alongside Kyiv Pride, Trans Generation and Insight, which provide shelter, financial aid and medical help to LGBT+ people in Ukraine.
“This broadcast, this visibility allows us to be spoken about, and not forgotten at this time,” she added. “It creates the opportunity for donations, not just from organisations, but also from private donors.”
Anastasiia added: “I’m not intimidated by violence and danger, I have two revolutions behind my back.”
She continued: “It’s important that I can do this work, and that I can do this work mostly from here.
“If I was anywhere else I wouldn’t find my place, I would be restless and full of self-deprecation. Here, I can really do the work that I need to be doing. It empowers me when I see that I’m really helping people.”
More than four million people have fled the country since Russia invaded, while 20,000 have been killed, according to Ukrainian officials.
Please donate what you can to the LGBTQ+ Refugees Welcome campaign by visiting our GoFundMe page.