Gay & Lesbian Travellers

Kyiv was considerably homophobic in the two decades following the collapse of the Soviet Union, but now it is a battlefield for LGBT rights. On the one hand, the Maidan revolution gave a new dimension of freedom, exemplified by the now annual and ever-expanding Kyiv Pride and a host of other events and parties. On the other hand, it has released the genie of ultranationalism, which results in far-right thugs regularly attacking LGBT-themed political events.

Politics aside, the scene is getting livelier. Several new gay bars and clubs have sprung up in recent years, and the annual summer gay pride march has gone off without major incidents in recent years. The city's summer raves and festivals are all very gay-friendly, as are grassrootsy, bohemian initiatives like Closer, Izolyatsia and Skvorechnik, and indeed most bars and clubs. Other gay-friendly places are Hydropark and Trukhaniv Island. Still, open displays of affection are not recommended and extra-caution should be exercised at LGBT-related political events.

  • LGBT Portal (www.lgbt.org.ua) The definitive guide to all things gay and lesbian in Ukraine.
  • KyivPride (http://kyivpride.org) NGO supporting LGBT rights and hosts the annual pride march, as well as the annual KyivPride week, and has a map on its website of LGBT-friendly places in Kyiv.