Pride of Ukraine - a documentary of hope and inspiration

For: Michelle Emson - Independent Human Rights Filmmaker
Toronto, ON, Canada
Organizer: Michelle Emson
of $5,000 goal
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Raised by 1 donor

The Story

IN SHORT - Inspire a World of Change™
Thank you for visiting; I urgently need your help to distribute this film, as widely as possible, and yield maximum impact for the LGBT population in Ukraine.

I am Michelle Emson, an openly-out transwoman, documentary film maker, a passionate advocate for gay and queer rights, and Executive Director of KyivPride Canada, a non-profit NGO bridging an alliance between Canada and Ukraine on human rights and more specifically, LGBTI rights.

I need you to support us in a number of ways:

  1. Watch the film to understand what we're up against - Pride of Ukraine - FULL FILM
  2. Please donate. Whatever you can afford. It all makes a difference.
  3. Share this campaign page with your network through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, email, etc.
  4. Share the film link Pride of Ukraine - FULL FILM
  5. Like us on Facebook: "Pride of Ukraine",  KyivPride Canada, and Michelle Emson
  6. Follow us on Twitter: KyivPride Canada and Michelle Emson


I was inspired to create this film by the four LGBT activists from Ukraine, that came to Canada for World Pride in June 2014, and the two straight allies from Canada who made this KyivPride delegation possible. I was amazed by the four's incredible courage and determination in the fight against anti-gay laws in Ukraine. They endured violence, persecution and disrespect, and this is not the end of their journey. LGBT people in Ukraine still don`t have basic human rights and still suffer from official, unofficial, and unchecked homophobia. 

With this documentary I want the world to know. I want people in North America, in Europe and inside Ukraine to appreciate the situation regarding LGBT rights in the state and to stand up and take action. Everyone deserves the right to be who they are, and to choose whom they love.

Most of the filming was self-funded and completed during World Pride 2014 in Toronto and the months following. I had the immense pleasure of spending eight awe inspiring days following the four KyivPride delegates as they attended the World Pride Human Rights Conference and participated in the World Pride March of June 29th. 

Post-production was completed, again at my own expense, during the winter of 2014/15. I sold the farm to make this film such was my commitment to the cause and the message.

The film premiered at the Embassy of Canada in Ukraine at the invitation of Ambassador Roman Waschuk and went on to be screened in Munich, Toronto, Ukraine, and beyond.

With your funding and support I can submit the film to more film festivals worldwide and substantially increase the reach. Together we can start the tide of change that will lead to restoring basic human rights to people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Everyone is entitled to these basic rights; wherever they live.

I ask you to join the team with your donation and help Ukrainian LGBT activists raise their voice all over the world. 

Together we can be a part of rapid social change in Ukraine, by working together and "Inspiring a World of Change™". 

The initiative of making homophobia the law in Ukraine first appeared in 2010 shortly after Russians voted for the so called "gay propaganda" law in Russia. The Ukrainian parliament was about to adopt several similar laws which would have made it forbidden for LGBT people in Ukraine to be openly 'out', to show their sexual orientation in public; and for all media it would have been forbidden to mention homosexuality "in a positive context". The authors of the laws wanted to apply fines of about $1000 or prison sentences of up to 5 years for openly appearing homosexual or to participate in any public discussion of homosexuality.

After the Revolution in 2014 these laws were taken off the voting line in the Ukrainian Parliament as were many other laws that were represented by the "old government". But, the level of open homophobia increased. Gays were beaten up on city squares, gay places were attacked. When KyivPride organised activists to walk through the streets of Kyiv, with the "March of Equality", the City Council of the Ukrainian capital denied this by withdrawing essential police protection. Despite this, marches of gay haters appeared in Kyiv frequently, freely, and without legal recourse. 

We need the world to learn of the human rights violations directed towards the LGBT population in Ukraine. 

I am a firm believer that Visibility leads to Awareness which encourages Understanding and, ultimately, results in Acceptance. If we could all be accepted for our uniqueness, and the value that we each bring to our community, then there would be no discrimination, no hatred, no violence, and no more punishment for being who you are.

You can help me effect this change.

You can help me "Inspire a World of Change™".

We want to submit the film to documentary festivals throughout the world where our mission will be both to present the film and also to Inspire a World of Change™ through lectures, speeches, workshops, materials, and our visibility in communities throughout North America, Europe and Ukraine. 

This phase requires additional funding and that's why I'm appealing to you now; for this phase to be a success we need sponsors; sponsors like you.

To inspire such fundamental change not only requires funding but also an incredibly wide network of motivated people; people who feel, as we do, that everyone deserves the right to be just exactly who they are, to love who they love, and to share a peaceful life with those they love.

Join us in creating an inspirational movement; one that will develop incredible momentum and result in rapid and sustainable change.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on April 19, 2016

Posted on April 19, 2016

Absolutely incredible that, within the first twenty four hours of release, the film has been viewed over 500 times. I would personally like to thank everyone who has seen the film, or shared it on social media. Without you we just wouldn't have the kind of reach that we do. Please continue to share it, both in your personal network and in special interest groups and mailing lists, so that we can spread the message farther.

"Together We Can Make a Difference."

With sincere thanks,


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