Struggles for Trans People in Ukraine

LGBT individuals in Ukraine are facing difficulties leaving the country as war rages on with Russia. Here’s everything you need to know about the struggles transgender and non-binary citizens in Ukraine are facing.

Biologically male, but now trans women cannot leave Ukraine because the country is forcing men ages eighteen through sixty to stay and fight. This is because some IDs of trans females still identify them as male, so their appearance doesn’t match their identification.

Not only that, but as a refugee, they face discrimination in countries with strict anti-gay laws and areas with “LGBT free areas”.

Poland and Hungary are two of the worst countries in Europe for restrictive LGBT laws. Hungary’s new law (est. June, 2021) banned the promotion or portrayal of homosexuality among anyone younger than 18. In 2020, same-sex couples were banned from adopting. In addition, Hungary does not recognize same-sex marriage, similar to Poland.

Here is a story from a LGBT Ukrainian citizen.

Zi Faámelu is 31-year old transgender woman living in Kyiv. Faámelu cannot leave Ukraine because her ID does not reflect her gender identity.

For a transgender person to be legally acknowledged as transgender in Ukraine, they must go through psychiatric observation. Faámelu called this a “humiliating process”.

Russia passed a law in June of 2013 that banned “propaganda” of same-sex material to minors. This law fines people who disobey four thousand to five thousand rubles (about 120 to 150 USD).

Corporations or legal enterprises are fined even more, from eight hundred thousand to one million rubles (24,000 to 30,000 USD). For foreigners who break this law, they can serve up to fifteen days in prison or even be deported from Russia.

In Ukraine, gay marriage is not recognized. However, many fear that more strict anti-LGBT laws loom over Ukrainian citizens if Russia succeeds in their takeover.