LGBTIQ+ in defense of Ukraine

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial 'outside agitator' idea.” Dr. Martin Luther King, 1963.

LGBTIQ+ in defense of Ukraine

QUA - LGBTQ Ukrainians in America are thrilled to present a photo exhibition featuring portraits of LGBTIQ+ in defense of Ukraine. These photos were created by the Ukrainian photographer Alim Yakubov. The exhibition is accompanied with the personal stories of Ukrainian heroes collected and translated by Dafna Rachok. It is framed as a conversation with extraordinary LGBTQ people who after Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine on February 24 became defenders of their country, and just in one night started a new life as soldiers or volunteers, joining the army or starting a humanitarian project to help other people. All of them are risking their lives for a democratic and independent Ukraine and chose to stay and fight against the Russian occupation.

Our idea is to show the unity and humanity of the Ukrainian people, including the LGBTQ community. LGBTQ Ukrainians have always been a part of Ukraine’s progress, and this fight for the survival of the nation is no different. We wish to highlight the resilience of LGBTQ Ukrainian military and humanitarian volunteers. By portraits and interviews with these heroes, as well as opening remarks from LGBTQ Ukrainians and allies here in the United States during the opening event, we will bring this intersection of Ukrainian lived experience to the United States in a deeply personal way, building empathy and bridges between American and Ukrainian communities.


Alim Yakubov is a Ukrainian Crimean photographer. Alim is a qirimli, he returned to the ancestor homeland from Uzbekistan in 2008, like most Crimean Tatars. He lived in Crimea until 2014 and after the occupation was forced to move to Kyiv where he lives now. Alim has been engaged in photography since 2012, works with stock photography and portrait photography. Before the full-scale invasion on February 24, 2022, he traveled a lot and was particularly into street photography.

Dafna Rachok, Ukrainian scholar and activist. Dafna is a Ukraine-born and US-educated anthropologist. Since February 24th, she has been a full-time volunteer helping the Ukrainian war effort. She has lived in Ukraine, Hungary, Canada, and the USA.


We seek to assist Ukrainian LGBTQ + individuals living in the US and Canada to integrate, adapt, and productively contribute to American society.