Ellen Page and Ian Daniels are back, with Gaycation season 2, streaming now on SBS On Demand.
By
Stephanie Marie Anderson

21 Jan 2017 - 11:58 AM  UPDATED 16 Aug 2017 - 7:00 PM

1) Pomada Club is one of the only LGBTQIA+ clubs in Kiev, Ukraine

We meet a drag performer named Guppy Drink, who takes us, along with Ellen and Ian to the site of the legendary LGBT+ club. In 2014, a group of right-wing radicals tried to force their way into the club, causing a stampede when they threw firecrackers and a smoke bomb into the building. It was one of many anti-LGBT+ attacks that year.

2) In 2013, the Ukrainian government defaulted on an agreement with the European union, opting instead for closer ties with notoriously anti-LGBT+ Russia

The possibility of E.U. integration  had held the promise of political reform, economic stability and for LGBT+ people, there was hope that this would signify a step away from Russia and toward equality and basic human rights. When the Ukranian government chose to strengthen its ties with President Putin and Russia, thousands protested. These protests turned violent, with 100 protestors and 18 police officers left dead and another 166 protestors went missing, and are presumed dead. These events are known as the Euromaidan Revolution.

3) LGBT groups and activists chose intentionally to not bring social issues into the Euromaidan Revolution

Maxim Eristavi, one of the only out gay journalists in Ukraine, says he believes it was a mistake to not bring LGBT+ issues into the revolution.

"A lot of gay people, a lot of queer people, they've been there, and they were fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with everyone else, but it wasn't manifested in any way," he says.

He explains: "I think it was one of the biggest mistakes of the queer community here to, uh, keep it silent. Now when you talk to people, they say, 'Well, where have you been during the revolution?' and "'I didn't see any gay people fighting with us there, so why should we care?' And I think that's very tragic."

4) Since the revolution, there has been a surge of anti-LGBT+ attacks, committed by ultra-right nationalists

The ultra-right nationalists want an independent, socially conservative Ukraine. Their ideology is rooted in deep mistrust, both toward Russia and western civilisation. 

They believe they're fighting for Ukraine's morality, with some groups organising violent attacks on members of the LGBT+ community.

"They want us to to be scared," says local activist Zoryan Kis. "They want us to hide, and they told me: 'We will be attacking every event that you organise because we don't want you on the streets'."

5) Some ultra-right youth groups organise "gay safaris", where they use social media to lure members of the LGBT+ community to attack and shame them

Nikolay Dulsky is the founder of a group called Fashion Verdict, one of Kiev's most notorious groups perpetrating these "gay safaris". He says that the group is rooted in the idea of traditionalism, morality and healthy values, adding that homosexuality and other values are "absolutely foreign to us".

"If we didn't take care of it, it would be scary to have children here," he says adding that his solution is to "shoot them".

He continues: "How could it be natural when one guy is with another guy? How could it be natural? It's impossible, it's inconceivable."

6) According to a recent study, 63% of Ukrainians surveyed believe homosexuality is a mental disease

The organisation Gay Alliance is trying to change that by helping to educate people on LGBTQ issues, running campaigns in support of same-sex partnerships, handing out pamphlets educating people about discriminations, and raising awareness for a bill on same-sex civil partnerships.

Did you miss Gaycation this week? You can catch up right now, on SBS On Demand: