"It's not the end of the world”

Anton Shebetko


24 October, to 7 December, 2019
Reception: Thursday, 24 October, 2019, 5 - 8pm

In Western media, Ukraine is usually represented as a country with high rates of homophobia. There is some truth in this. Yes, there are violations in the field of human rights in Ukraine, yes, homophobic sentiments are higher than in countries with developed economies and, yes, crimes motivated by homophobia occur quite often here. Victims do not always go to the police, assuming that they will not receive any help. 

Recently, in Belgium, my head was smashed with a metal bottle because I'm gay; for now I still expect the police to find the attackers. The only piece of mail I have received from Belgium was an invoice from a local hospital. You can say that I was lucky: I survived, the police accepted my application, I got help in the hospital. FInally, I was able to say that I was attacked because I am gay. We all know that there are countries where police can kill you if you dare to say “I'm gay”.

Hate crimes are terrible and require punishment; discrimination is unacceptable, we all know that. And yet, hate crimes happen every minute, throughout the world, in all countries. It's devastating and unfair, but it's not a reason to spend your life in fear.