Ukraine’s gay, lesbian, and transgender military volunteers are adding a unicorn patch to their uniforms, right under the national flag.
The patch is meant as a rebuke to Russian rhetoric about “de-Nazification” and Russian rhetoric about the absence of homosexuals in the military forces of former Soviet territories.
The unicorn patch became popular with Ukraine’s LGBTQ community after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. Since there were supposedly no gay soldiers in the army, gays sarcastically chose the mythological unicorn as their symbol.
Germany’s Deutsche Welle (DW) reported last summer that Ukrainian soldiers began coming out in greater numbers in 2018, including those deployed to fight Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. Even then, gay Ukrainian troops thought identifying themselves could help counter Russian propaganda about fascists running Kyiv.