Homophobia and Ways of Promoting LGBT Rights in Ukraine

April 10, 2018 to April 10, 2018 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM



Homophobia and Ways of Promoting LGBT Rights in Ukraine

Tuesday April 10, 2018 – 5:30pm Room 435

Lecture by Dr Maryna Shevtsova



After the large anti-government protest in Ukraine in 2013-2014, also known as Euromaidan, new, pro-European political actors came to the power to replace allied with Russia President Yanukovych who fled shortly after the protests had begun. While to express pro-Russian political position or to side openly with Russia became largely unpopular, quite ironically, some groups among both new and old political actors went on promoting ideas and values closely associated with the Putin’s regime. Homophobia as well as “anti-gender” discourse is among the most salient of those.

This talk will evolve around the key homophobic actors in Ukrainian politics questioning what triggers and fuels their activity and what impact they have on relatively young LGBT movement in the country. Drawing on Holzhacker’s and Bernstein’s works on development and strategies of Western LGBT activisms, I argue that apart from “imported” from the Western culture strategies, Ukrainian LGBT community has developed its own ways of (in)visible resistance. Though often criticized for low profile, lack of visibility and barely quantifiable outcomes, they seem, so far, to result more sustainable and promise to bear more fruits in the long run.



Maryna Shevtsova has PhD in Political Science from Humboldt University, Berlin. Her dissertation, “Exporting European values: promoting LGBT rights in third countries” analyzed the domestic responses in Turkey and Ukraine to the EU instruments of LGBT rights promotion. Currently Dr. Shevtsova works as a Program officer for “TERGO”, organization providing psychological support to parents of LGBT children and for LGBT Organization “Fulcrum” in Kyiv. Her most recent publications include “Learning the Lessons from the Euromaidan: the Ups and Downs of LGBT Activism in the Ukrainian Public Sphere” and “Queering Gezi and Maidan: Instrumentalization and Negotiation of Sexuality Within the Protest Movement.”  She is currently working on an edited volume on LGBT refugees and asylum seekers (with Dr. Arzu Guler and Denise Venturi) to be published with Springer in 2018 and on an edited volume on LGBT activism in post-socialist countries (with Radzhana Buyantuyeva) to be published with Palgrave Macmillan later this year

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