News and Commentary

While Ukrainians Die, CBS News Focuses On Transgender Acceptance There

“Transgender acceptance in Ukraine is not widespread”
Ukraine dead soldier
Oleksandr Ratushniak/AFP via Getty Images

On Tuesday, while the people of Ukraine desperately try to defend themselves from the brutal Russian invasion of their country, CBS News decided it was time to focus on the plight of transgenders in Ukraine.

CBS News tweeted, “Transgender acceptance in Ukraine is not widespread, and changing legal documents to match gender requires a long process with psychiatric examinations. CBS News spoke with one woman in Kyiv who is now battling a ‘war within a war’ amid Russia’s invasion.”

In the story the tweet linked to, CBS News focused on 31-year-old Zi Faámelu, who lives in Kyiv. The story was chock-full of complaints from Faámelu about Ukraine, complaining about being trapped in the house and saying that leaving was impossible. CBS News wrote, “Faámelu, who is transgender, said that transphobia is pervasive in the city and neighboring countries, and fears that if she leaves, the tension of the ongoing conflict will make her more susceptible to violence.”

Faámelu insisted, “Many people have guns and weapons. … It can be an excuse for violence. …This is a very scary situation.”

“Faámelu doesn’t know what to do,” CBS News lamented. “Even if she doesn’t face violence on her way to the border, she has no idea whether she will even be allowed to leave the country.”

Faámelu complained, “This is not a very rainbow-friendly place. … Lives for trans people are very bleak here. If you have a male gender in your passport, they will not let you go abroad. They will not let you through.”

In  order for transgenders to obtain legal documents stating their preferred gender, Ukraine requires them to undergo psychiatric observation. “I don’t want to go through that. This is like, humiliating for the world,” Faámelu said. “…I decided to keep my passport, keep male in my passport, and now I cannot leave this country…. [it’s] a war within a war, truly.”

In some of the latest news from Ukraine, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, “Live-cam footage from Kharkiv’s central Freedom Square showed a missile landing just outside the local government’s headquarters at 8:01 a.m. local time, with a fireball charring nearby buildings and cars. Ukraine’s national emergency service said seven people were killed and 24 injured in the strike.”

The New York Times added:

On Day 6 of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Moscow appeared to target civilian areas with increasingly powerful weapons, and a 40-mile-long convoy of Russian tanks and vehicles sat about 20 miles north of Kyiv, a menacing presence that raised the possibility that Moscow could attempt an encirclement of the capital.

Raising already high tensions, the Russian Defense Ministry threatened to conduct strikes against facilities in the city belonging to Ukraine’s security service and to a special operations unit to prevent information attacks against Moscow.

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