Themes by tag: LGBT
Sarah Ashton-Cirillo is 46 years old. She is an American journalist and transgender woman. Sarah came to Ukraine at the beginning of russia’s full-scale invasion. In March 2022, she covered the topic of Ukrainian refugees in Poland, and later joined the territorial defense forces of Ukraine and became a combat medic. At the same time, Sarah continued to write reports for foreign media about enemy shelling. In 2023, the woman was injured, and soon after she received an invitation to join the public relations team of the Territorial Defense Forces. Sarah Ashton-Cirillo’s new position has sparked a lot of discussion. However, this did not affect Sarah’s motivation to serve in the Armed Forces.
Daniel Johnson, a member of the Ukrainian LGBT community, served in eastern Ukraine from 2015 to 2018 and was a tank commander. He was demobilized and entitled to the status of a combatant. When the full-scale invasion began, he returned to the army. On February 25, Daniel participated in the battles for Chernihiv until he was wounded in April. For his service, the soldier received an award for “defense of the city of Chernihiv”. After rehabilitation, Daniel went to the East to continue his service. In February 2023, he completed a psychology course and was promoted to the psychology officer position. Daniel says he faced discrimination because of his orientation. He was even forced to transfer to another unit because for this particular reason.
Antonina is a Crimean and a non-binary person in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. She moved from Simferopol back in 2014 after the occupation of the peninsula by Russia. Antonina’s occupation is a filmmaker. She has worked as an actress and participated in performances. On February 25, 2022, Antonina went to the army recruiting office and enlisted in the Territorial Defense Forces of Kyiv. During the full-scale war with Russia, Antonina took part in the battles for Kherson and Kharkiv regions and fought in the Bakhmut sector. Antonina is currently a mortar gunner in the 206th Territorial Defense Battalion. Despite making a titanic effort every day, she manages to be vegan and even play the ukulele occasionally.
Mariia Smirnova, 24, joined the military in the summer of 2022 and choose the Da Vinci Wolves battalion to serve. Without hiding her sexual orientation, a girl she did not experience any harassment or prejudice from her fellow soldiers though. Serving as a clerk at the Da Vinci Wolves battalion, Mariia then decided that she wanted to be useful directly on the front line, so she transferred to the airborne assault troops. Now she is undergoing training in Zhytomyr region.
Dmytro Havryliuk (Moralis), Head at the Executive Committee of the NGO “Ukrainian LGBT+ Military lost his beloved in the war last December. Dmytro did not manage to see him before his death. But even if he was able to get to the intensive care unit on time, the state could have prevented Dmytro from seeing his beloved. After all, only relatives are allowed to the intensive care unit, and Dmytro and his partner’s relationship wasn’t officially registered.
Currently, Dmytro is pushing for the adoption of a law under which members of the LGBT community will be able to legitimize their relationships before the state. Dmytro knows, like no one else, that this issue is urgent these days, especially for LGBT military personnel.
For reference: According to current laws, same-sex couples cannot officially register their relationship in Ukraine. But the situation may change soon: in March, a draft law on registered partnerships was brought in the Verkhovna Rada, and the Ministry of Justice is developing another one.