Kyiv skyscraper defiantly flies 140-metre tall rainbow flag and message of togetherness for Pride

Emma Powys Maurice October 8, 2020
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The colourful display can be seen throughout the capital city of Kyiv (YouTube/Kyiv Pride)

A 140-metre Pride flag is being projected onto one of Ukraine’s tallest buildings in defiance against the growing wave of homophobia spreading across eastern Europe.

The rainbow colours will cover Gulliver Mall, a 35-storey shopping and entertainment centre in the capital city of Kyiv, every evening between October 5-11.

The flag and accompanying slogan “It’s good to be different together!” will flash across the face of the building in five minute intervals between 6.30pm and 10.00pm, being projected from the nearby Ukrainian Empire State building in an extraordinary public display of LGBT+ solidarity.

The famous shopping centre is so tall it can be seen from anywhere in central Kyiv as well as surrounding areas of the city. The colourful display has been timed to celebrate PrideMonth in Ukraine, and also International Coming Out Day which is celebrated worldwide on October 11.

“Coming Out Day is about visibility and the power of the voice,” said Ruslana Panukhnyk, director of the KyivPride NGO.

“On this day that is important for the entire LGBT+ community, we want to emphasise once again that we are stronger together and together under all circumstances, including pandemic conditions and quarantine restrictions. We walk side by side towards a better future for all.”

“We shall recall that PrideMonth usually taking place in Kyiv from September 26 to October 11 was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Like much of eastern Europe, Ukraine is currently battling against a surge in anti-LGBT+ sentiment driven by far-right nationalists.

Last month a Pride celebration in Odessa was marred by neo-Nazi hooligans armed with eggs and pepper spray, who targeted LGBT+ activists as police “stood idly by”. Such violence is unfortunately common at Pride events in Ukraine, where LGBT+ people have few legal rights.

The country has passed some basic gender recognition laws and discrimination protections as it seeks to align with EU law, but there is no recognition for same-sex relationships, and gay couples are banned from getting married or adopting children.

KyivPride hopes the Gulliver Mall display will encourage more positive discussion of LGBT+ issues and “remind Kyivans there are no limits in love.”


More: Eastern Europe, Kyiv, Pride, ukraine

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