Many of us who are following the news on the Russia-Ukraine war will know that its citizens need our help and support. Numerous organisations have done amazing work in sharing stories, protesting, and raising relief funds. Some incredible LGBTQ+ groups actively helping the LGBTQ+ community in Ukraine are among them.
Here’s how you can support LGBTQ+ folks and groups who are in the midst of the Ukrainian war:
OutRight Action International
At the start of the invasion, OutRight Action International set up an emergency fund to raise money to provide relief and assistance for the LGBTQ+ community in Ukraine. The funds raised will be distributed to LGBTQ+ organisations based in Ukraine and neighbouring countries that are taking in refugees. These groups are working tirelessly to help provide shelter, food, medical care, transportation and other humanitarian support for queer folks. ORAI have already raised $514,639 (about £394,478) but are still looking for as much help as possible.
Formally known as the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group, Rainbow Migration is an organisation that helps LGBTQ+ folks seek asylum in the UK. The group primarily works with refugees and asylum seekers who have fled countries who still practice anti-LGBTQ+ laws and punishments. Currently, they are working with LGBTQ+ Ukrainian refugees and their partners and families in the UK by providing legal, practical, and emotional support. They are currently accepting a ‘General Funds’ donation, but you can also help by spreading the word on social media for those who may benefit from their services.
RUSA LGBTQ+ is a network for Russian-speaking LGBT folks who provide relief and support for asylum seekers from Russian-speaking countries, including Ukraine. The organisation is based in New York City but has developed a helpful guide with GLAAD on supporting LGBTQ+ Ukrainian civilians and military members.
Our mission as an LGBT brand has always been to build better a world for everyone. Although this may be a scary time, in order to lead the way for a better world, we as a community must help one another in a time of crisis. As a representative from OutRight Action International puts it:
“When a crisis hits, sometimes the only relief LGBTQ+ people have access to is assistance from the LGBTQ+ community itself, and its allies.”
The recent homophobic attacks in Clapham have shocked and saddened many people. These attacks are a reminder that LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance in society can be regressive, and not always progressive. In the UK, we have made great progress in recent years, but there is still a lot of work to be done.