Gay Guide

Ukraine
Pink Star Rating

6

Capital

Kiev

Other Main Cities/Resorts

Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Odessa

Scene and Culture

Public attitudes towards homosexuals are generally tolerant in Kiev and Kharkov, but in rural areas, especially in the Western Ukraine people are still extremely conservative and quite homophobic. Despite increasing westernisation since the collapse of communism, the Ukrainian gay scene is still quite small. In Kiev there are about 5 bars and clubs. There is a also a small scene in Kharkov and Simeiz in Crimea. In the last 3 years a gay magazine has started being published called "Odin Iz Nas" (One of Us). Bear in mind that Ukraine is still a very poor country where a foreigner is considered incredibly rich so you may find attractive Ukrainian guys befriending you in the hope of being able to migrate to the West. Also be aware that since 1995 there has also been a huge increase in HIV and AIDS with infections jumping from virtually zero before 1995 to around 20,000 a year from 1996 onwards. The former Soviet Union is still quite hard for foreigners particularly the lawlessness and corruption. There is also still a lot of hideous architecture and not many obvious tourist attractions although the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station might make an interesting though sobering visit.

Gay Age of Consent

16

Lesbian Age of Consent

16

Straight Age of Consent

16

Legal Notes

Homosexuality was decriminalised in 1991 and the Criminal code no longer make specific reference to homosexuality. The Ukrainian Constitution states that citizens have equal constitutional rights and freedoms and are equal before law though sexual orientation is not specifically mentioned. The list of grounds of discrimination include "on other basis" so it theoretically could be used for LGBT issues but it has never been tested in court. Gays are exempt from the military which is considered an advantage allowing gays to avoid otherwise compulsory military service. Gay activist have been lobbying for improvements on gay and lesbian rights but so far they have been ignored by the political establishment.

Population

49.15 million

Climate

Ukraine has a continental climate with hot summers and long cold winters. The best time to visit is during the summer months of May to August/September. It gets very hot in midsummer so if this bothers you then go early or late in the summer. Average annual precipitation varies from 300 mm in the south to 600 mm in the northwest and increases to more than 750 mm in the mountains. Average temperature ranges in the northeast are from -8c in January to 29c in July while in the south they range from -2c in January to 32c in July.

Nationwide info
Ukrainian National LGBT Server