Konstantin. Bisexual, 32 years old from Odesa. Currently serves in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The interview took place in April 2023.

— No one wants to die, — Kostya rubbed his cheek thoughtfully. – I shaved my beard, but still can’t get used to it. It’s strange – I was only drafted after a year . And I, by the way, went to the military office on February 25, 2022, to join the army.

On the twenty-fourth, I dealt with all the things, took my mother to our summer house, to the Bolgrad district (of Odesa region), where I switched on a heating system, and asked the neighbours to look after her. And on the twenty-fifth of February, I arrived at the military enlistment office. I stood in line for an hour and a half, went in, showed my documents, and introduced myself. I had been a cameraman on television and after college I performed compulsory military service. I said that I have the desire and ability to defend my Motherland.

They wrote down all the information and let me go home saying they would call later. So, a year passed. I kept wondering because even my limping neighbour had been drafted, but they didn’t write to me. I even thought maybe it was because they found out that I was bisexual. But I do not regret that it took them so long. I am a sailor now and I am proud of it. My great-grandfather also fought at sea. I’m waiting for something serious to happen, I’m currently guarding the facility with other guys, and we’re stacking chemical protection equipment there. We are waiting for the training, they promised it would happen in a week. But even so, I like that we have a routine at the galley, it’s easy to understand what job each person is doing.

And what should I be worried about? I am single, have never had a serious relationship. Maybe I’m one of those people who don’t know how to fall in love. Of course, I would like my love to be like in the movies. The girls often had a crush on me, and the guys were always interested in me. And I, somehow, can’t imagine that I’m in a committed relationship with anyone. I can’t imagine waking up together every morning, going to the park for a walk and drinking coffee.

I once lived in the Czech Republic for a year, so maybe in that country I could have imagined a life like this. But here… no, I don’t think Ukraine is tolerant enough yet. My friend was beaten up in Odesa last year. He is gay, but he looks straight-passing. Some of his hair strands are dyed though. They attacked him, beat him up, insulted him, and filmed a video of them cutting his hair. He then found them, they were filming content for some channel there, but the police did not transfer the case to the court, because they have not identified the people of the group, and in general they said that this was not a serious crime. So, no, I don’t believe that people of LGBT-community in Ukraine are safe.

On the other hand, I saw guys and girls from the community who serve in the army, and they told me that everything was fine and that no one insulted them, no one said anything bad. I don’t know. Maybe I will come out if the situation is appropriate, or if there is a direct question. I don’t want to lie about a woman who is waiting for me. Maybe I will have already proven myself before that time as a reliable fellow soldier and a good fighter. Everything will be fine.