Growing up being gay in a small town in the west of Ukraine is quite difficult. And the problem here is not that, in fact, the LGBT community does not exist there, but that society was too conservative in its perception of non-traditional orientation. Bullying by peers is the least that happened to me there. The worst scenario was not that bad though – my hands were grabbed behind my back by a group of radicals, and one of them punched me in my face. I was released after that, having a bitter taste of a blood in my mouth and of injustice in my heart. Nevertheless, I wasn’t threatened anymore.

In fact, the overall situation in my country has fundamentally changed. First, moving to a big city changed my perception of myself, and opened up more self-awareness of sexual preferences. Secondly, according to the latest public opinion polls, about a third of Ukrainian society has changed its opinion about the LGBT community for the better. It seems that a special unit of the Ukrainian army – @lgbtiqmilitary – played a big role in this.

This was one of the reasons why I made a coming-out in front of the whole country. Courage played in my veins, and I helped both @melovin_official and myself – at the biggest festival in the country, which had an online broadcast on TV channels, we kissed. This was the first case of an open come-out in Ukraine.

Now, my prerogatives include improving the perception of LGBT people in my country, as well as helping it both materially (donating to the army) and informationally (promoting the general ideas of freedom and liberality). In the end, I will be very grateful to everyone who reads this text, and will also help Ukraine in the fight against the invader, and in the promotion of democratic ideas. Hugs and kisses from @laslo_ve