Being a post-soviet East-European country, Ukraine has a long way to go to reach equality. Pride events in Ukraine happen often, but lots of Ukrainians are still too conservative to embrace LGBTQ people. Pride marches, held annually since 2015, often face protests from far-right activists.
As you all know, many of this year’s events were cancelled because of the Covid-19, and the Pride march is no exception. All thematic events were held online. Except one – and that’s something you don’t want to miss. Pro-LGBTQA activists used modern technology in the best way imaginable. A drone flying a 6-meter LGBTQ flag above the city? Why not.
The rainbow flag, attached to the drone on a cable, decorated one of Kyiv’s trademark statues. A 102-meter sculpture of a woman, lovingly called ‘Motherland’, is 10 meters taller than the famous New York-based Statue of Liberty.
The flag was positioned so that it would seem like the Motherland holds it. The recording of the event shows #momwillunderstandandsupport hashtag, referencing to the sculpture’s name.
As expected, the video wasn’t met with open arms and minds. After it was posted on Facebook, some people have called this whole event ‘vandalism’ and ‘sinful and shameful’. According to the law, one can be gay in Ukraine, but LGBTQ+ still doesn’t enjoy some basic rights. Same-sex couples can have a relationship, but they are way less protected than straight people.
Some people have expressed their resentment towards using Motherland in a pro-LGBTQ event. Others were frustrated that is was held on Father’s Day. Some people demanded an investigation in order to arrest activists who are responsible for the event.
Dronarium Ukraine, the company which helped with the tech, explained that no law was violated, and the drone flight was carried out under the current legislation. On its Facebook page Dronarium Ukraine also publicly expressed their support for the LGBTQ community. They have directly stated that they consider hate towards LGBTQ to be from the Middle Ages.
Another video was posted featuring a rainbow flag flying above Kyiv.
Due to the pandemic, many Pride events were held online. At the same time, many organizations express their support in a different way, making beautiful street art and illuminating buildings.