Protesters posing as homosexuals used the topic of sexual orientation in an effort to break-up the on-going efforts of the EuroMaidan demonstrators on day #52 of the protest. In Kyiv, on January 11, 2014, titushki, a colloquial term used to identify those individuals hired by the government to disperse opposition demonstrators, staged a fake pride parade in downtown Kyiv, to provoke violence on Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square), or the Maidan as it is known in Ukraine.
Injecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) agenda into the EuroMaidan movement, in which people of both conservative and liberal persuasions participate, was a manipulative tactic to divide the EuroMaidan and to discredit the efforts of the LGBT community who stand unidentified, shoulder-to-shoulder with their fellow EU supporters. Thanks to the prompt response of real LGBT activists and officially registered LGBT organizations, the rally proved ineffective. The EuroMaidan volunteer barricade guards, unprovoked by the stunt, met the parade with indifference allowing the gay-titushki to perform their demonstration, observing the protesters with skepticism but care for their security.
The previous day, during a press conference at UNIAN, a leading Ukrainian press agency, the organizers of the LGBT-mock performance announced their plan to start the parade at Bessarabs’ka Square and walk to the Maidan, approximately 600 meters. About 40 gay-tituskhkas, clad in colorful wigs, overdone make-up, silly hats, and comical clothing, were brought by bus to Bessarabs’ka Square in an attempt to exploit societal stereotypes of homosexuals and cause public unrest.
Participants of the action, waving rainbow flags and symbols of the European Union. They performed several dances under the direction of professional entertainers.
The mock demonstrators were promised $150-200 for their participation in the rally.
During the spectacle, participants of the facebook-group for LGBT rights “CTOП 8711” [STOP 8711], which include members of official LGBT organizations and other friendly non-governmental organizations as well as LGBT activists and allies, were present to counter-act the efforts of the gay-titushki. Human rights and LGBT activist Zoryan Kis, holding a poster which read “NO provocations” and “Kremlin technologies,” explained to journalists that the spectacle is comprised of hired individuals who were organized to divert society’s attention from the true aims of the EuroMaidan. Kis continued, “This manipulative provocation has several goals. First, it is to discredit the Maidan. Second, it is to feed the homophobic spirit and to bully the EuroMaidan against the Ukrainian LGBT community.”
LGBT activists revealed screenshots of correspondences with talent agencies who contacted members of the LGBT community to participate in the event. The promised award for participation was $150-200.
1The so-called "Euromaidan" protests were sparked by Yanukovych and his political allies' decision in November to scrap an association and trade deal with the European Union in favor of tighter ties with Russia.