Fri 24th Jul, 2015 in International News
A magazine in the Ukraine was filming one of those “how will people react” videos with a gay couple in Kiev – and it started well, but things took a dangerous turn when a mob of angry young men descended.
Last week a video showing reactions to a pair of young guys holding hands in Russia went viral – see it here if you missed it – so the Ukraine’s ‘Bird in Flight’ magazine was keen to see how a local couple would fare.
Partners Tymur and Zoryan took to the streets of Kiev. “We walked around the city for an hour holding hands,” Zoryan explains.
They were a novelty. A few people stared, and some girls wanted to get a pictures of them kissing.
“Are you serious?” questioned one woman. “It’s the first time I see people like this. I mean it.”
But then the pair decided to be a little more provocative, with Tymur sitting on Zoryan’s lap on a busy street.
“We were approached by a gang of 10 or 1 very young neo-nazi or extreme right men,” says Zoryan.
One said: “It looks like they’re fucking mistaking this place for America.”
“It turned out that they were only talking to us to deceive the police patrol. As soon as the patrol left they sprayed pepper spray all over us so that we could not protect ourselves, and started beating us.”
See the video below.
Homosexuality is legal in the Ukraine, but many are still intolerant of same-sex relationships. In a 2010 European study, only 28% of Ukrainians polled believed that LGBT individuals should live freely and however they like.
The makers of this video concluded that while many ordinary people on the streets of Kiev saw the gay couple and turned a blind eye, there’s a violent few who make it dangerous for same-sex partners to be open about their relationships.
There were violent clashes at a gay pride march in Kiev in June, with attackers hurling teargas and smoke bombs, injuring several of the marchers and police. Around two dozen anti-gay protesters were arrested at the scene.