For Zi Faámelu, Russia's invasion is "a war within a war."
Her story has been shared in outlets across the world, after she first spoke to CBS. It's a difficult watch, but if you have three minutes, it's incredibly moving.
It was already tough to be transgender in Ukraine. Now, people with male markers on their passports are unable to flee, as conscription has been introduced for men aged 18-60.
Zi, who lives in Kyiv under bombardment, has been left with little choice but to stay while Russia attacks the city. And she is not alone. Trans people have been speaking to Vice World News about being trapped in Ukraine.
They are being advised to “lose their ID” by human rights groups so they can get over the border. But in a country that doesn't have a particularly positive attitude to trans folk anyway, even this is a gamble.
To get legal recognition, Ukrainian trans people have to go through psychiatric examinations. The country's highly religious society also has high anti-LGBTQIA+ sentiment - Equaldex
If you're looking for information on how to fact check and navigate the news, check out this Twitter thread or this TikTok.
Elsewhere, it's quickly become clear that an information war is going on during the crisis too.
Pundits and columnists in the UK and US have already delivered gender-critical hot takes on the war.
Right-wing US site Breitbart called out CBS's moving interview with Zi for 'detecting transphobia' amid the war. And they weren't alone.
British right-wing website Spiked commissioned work asking - 'how can we ever call men who dress up as women brave again?'
Meanwhile, the mainstream right-wing UK press critiqued MI6's boss for tweeting about celebrating the freedoms, including LGBTQIA+ rights, that distinguish us from Putin's Russia - (The Express, The Times and others...)
Our progressive laws should be the perfect example of what distinguishes us.
Even in a moment when we can all agree about the horrors of war, churning out controversial ‘culture war’ content for clicks is still very much on the agenda.
We report on the queer perspective because our unique, broad community is hit in different ways from the rest of society by any crisis. In each scenario, it's crucial to explore the individual complexities and intersectionalities at play.
This week it remains clear that, while all Ukrainians live in fear of this war, the already marginalised LGBTQIA+ community are disproportionately becoming victims in a growing human rights catastrophe.
Meanwhile, some of the mainstream media have found ways to use the war to continue their critical obsession with the transgender community.
This article was just one part of our weekly newsletter that summarises, understands and explains the news of the week:
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