Life is on hold: wait for the boyfriend to return from the war
Stanislav is the boyfriend of Zhenia. Stanislav works for the civil service. He cannot tell much about his job as well as Zhenia. And we try to avoid specifics in that regard. The guys have been living together for six years. They were together on the Maidan. They share life together, have a pet, plans for the future, but now life is on hold. You can read the interview with the boyfriend of Stanislav – Out of focus: LGBT on the front line.
When did your boyfriend join the army?
We talked about it on the St. Valentine’s Day for the first time. We were at home and sat at the table for dinner. He told that he had received a military subpoena; so something should be checked there. I realized at that moment, I felt that he would have to go. But at the same time I did not believe it to the last. Then he went again. They examined him, told to come back and bring all necessary stuff with him. We packed the bag. And he went.
Did you talk about to buy off, to hide, and not to go?
No. He is law-abiding. It was not about to buy off at all. We knew perfectly well that we wouldn’t have ever wanted to go to war. But when there is no choice… The war had been lasting for a while; they hadn’t taken him with the first wave. When we talked with him about it, we decided that we would go, wouldn’t hide or buy off if we would be drafted.
Are there any of your LGBT acquaintances on the front line?
The society has a stereotype that gays are not courageous, they are not capable of defending the country, and gays of all people are not at war. But there are gays there and many of them. For example, my boyfriend; there are gays among my acquaintances who received a military subpoena, and they joined the army; and lesbians who joined the volunteer battalions. During the Equality March I also heard people saying about LGBT like “send them to the war”. It is very sad that people constantly throw it in face, that there are such unhealthy trends in the society. Incidentally, I witnessed one situation. There was a guy sitting in the military uniform in a cafeteria. I assumed, he was a volunteer who had just returned from there or had been on a leave. Obviously, he didn’t suspect that the girls who sat behind him were lesbians. I noticed and understood it at once. They talked about the war, volunteer services, and I don’t know how and when – I didn’t want to eavesdrop – they started to talk about LGBT. And then he showed his attitude, saying that they should be shot or sent somewhere. After having heard it, one of the girls flared up and started to shout that nearly everybody could hear her, “Ok, I am lesbian and I am sorry that maybe, I disturb you with my help”. It was an unpleasant conversation for both of them. But finally, they came to an understanding as I saw it. A person won’t change at once. That’s for sure. But maybe a sound idea will cross his mind. Actually, it is not even that, what bothers me. It irritates me that people start to forget that there is the war in the country. It has become commonplace. I am often comforted that there was no shooting there. Ok, not twenty people die per day as before, but the guys are not at the resort there.
Should Equality March be conducted as it stands?
Yes, we need it. And it is a right thing to do. Nothing will change if to sit at home and wait. The society will keep thinking that there is no LGBT. That’s why it is necessary to initiate a dialogue. We cannot just sit back and wait for the society being so smart to surf the Internet and read that it is not a disease; it won’t happen that way.
Read also: A soldier is walking through the town (ru)
Most people live in the past. The church is also very counterproductive. The church in our country is very impudent. The priests come to the Verkhovna Rada to write laws. How can it be? For example, my mother went to the monastery. The priests there told her that an evil spirit took over me, the devil controls me, and it is necessary to save me. Nothing will change just because they told I would need to go to the church. But my mother is worried, her health has grown worse. Who has got it better? It should be made a criminal offence. It is not good if a person sows the seeds of hatred between the people who trust him because he is the authority for them.
What, if LGBT veterans of ATO take to the streets for the Equality March?
It would be very effective. Unfortunately, our society evolves rather slowly. We are far from the sustainable development. That’s why there is less awareness-building. The society falls for Liashko with a pitchfork, for nude breasts. Because if the society wants a vivid picture — it should get it.
Will you take to the streets for the next Equality March?
Yes. We will both go.
You work for the government entity. You have more access to the information than most people. Does it help to worry less?
I don’t have any secret information. The people I work with, go above and beyond, and really want this war to be over. Clearly, time and the hard work are necessary to change something. Sometimes it is very difficult for me to explain the things to Zhenia, which he understood when he was here. He tells about the people who live there. Separatists live there, and they say it straight. They come to get food from them, take it, and at the same breath they curse them. Then come again. He doesn’t understand why he is there. And it is more and more difficult for me to find words to explain it to him. When Kernes was elected again in Kharkiv, Zhenia called me and almost cried. Why should we fight separatists there, and elect them as city mayor here? There are a lot of questions to the authorities, who did not punish the guilty persons and to the people, who were not bludgeoned into electing such a mayor.
What is the most difficult in your work?
It is the hardest to return from work to the empty apartment. I got used during these years that I am expected at home. Other than that … It is the hardest for him now. I have had a lot of soul-searching. When you know that the guys are there in the trenches, sleep in tents, wash with an icy water, then you take all household problems or problems at work easier. It is nothing compared to what the guys have to deal with in the East. That’s why I make it a rule not to snivel because of a bad weather, traffic jams, and rough days at work. The war will be over. Then we will think about beer brands and will post jokes on Facebook. Now my thoughts are not there. I have a feeling as if there was the life, and now as if somebody put it on hold, “we don’t write”, and such a limbo. And I cannot plan anything. I just want this nightmare to be over as fast as possible.
The interview with Stanislav was published in the ninth issue of the LGBT youth digest GAYD!
Автор: Kira Kowalski