They fled war – now, LGBTQ refugees battle discrimination

In Poland and other eastern European countries, Ukraine’s queer refugees face political intolerance and social exclusion, writes Joanna Jaworska.

The World Today
3 minute READ

The first time Oksana, a queer Ukrainian refugee, travelled abroad was when she fled to Poland to escape the war last year. ‘I thought I was coming to Europe, so the society will be open [towards gay people]’, says Oksana, ‘but, turns out, it’s not that different from Ukraine here.’

Since the onset of war in February 2022, more than five million Ukrainians have registered in Europe for temporary protection. A high proportion settled in neighbouring countries, which are among the least tolerant towards gay people in Europe.

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