Their Voices

“They say that the most important thing is to be yourself. I work twice more in order not to think about it” According to the survey within the project “Global Assessment of Values” conducted in 2020, 44,8% of Ukrainians do not want to live next to the representatives of LGBT+. What is the reason? How does this hatred between people appear? Why did the faith, the values and orientation of a person become reasons for oppression and persecution? Why did the word “tolerance” become so repugnant for some part of the society? And is there a way to make the world better through communication? These were the questions we asked at the beginning of our hardest project of 2021 for the civic organization “Sphera” and KharkivPride.
Country: UkraineAgency:Arriba!

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The project

We decided to address science to find the answers and took into consideration the findings of Milton Bennett – sociologist, specialist in interpersonal communication and professor at Portland University.

Having studied various cultures for many years, he came up with the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity which depicts the evolution of acceptance of the difference in opinions, traditions and orientations in the society.

The Challenge

The model shows that a person has six different stages before accepting the other culture:

  • Denial (all the gays and lesbians are just a fiction of the Masons)
  • Defence (LGBT people really exist but they are a threat for our children, traditions, people, and state)
  • Minimization (LGBT people exist but I have nothing to do with them and do not want to see any signs of them)
  • Acceptance (each person shall have his/her right to choose values, faith and orientation)
  • Adaptation (I understand what is important for the LGBT+ community and learn to collaborate with its representatives)
  • Integration (the freedom of choice is important for me, that’s why I want to take an active part in the LGBT+ movement).

The Solution

Thanks, Milton for the great model. It helped us understand two things.

First of all, Ukrainian society is not spoilt. The point is that it still has not passed the basic stages of its interpersonal development like any other country and groups of people do. Moreover, our objective is not to solve the issue of tolerance absence in the society. We aim at urging a group of people to move to the next stage of the model.

The only thing is to understand what group of people it should be.

The Result

The campaign received a large number of views, publications, and media coverage. Users of social networks had heated discussions on this topic some of them changed their minds about the LGBT+ community.