Antonina Yankovaya realized that her son was gay when he was 19 years old. She says she felt shocked, scared and unhappy at the time. But now, almost 13 years later, she is an activist who fights for equal rights for Ukraine’s LGBT community.
“We are so close now,” she says of her son, tenderly, with tears in her eyes. “I don’t want to be scared that he might go somewhere and get beaten up, which can easily happen in Ukraine.”
Yankovaya, 63, is now a member of Tergo, the first and only registered organization in Ukraine that helps the parents of LGBT people, as well as LGBT Ukrainians who are rejected by their families.