A Ukrainian woman trapped in her Kyiv home says she’s fighting a “war within a war,” because she’s transgender and worries transphobic Ukrainians — who are now armed — might get her before the Russians.
Zi Faámelu says “it was hell” living as a trans person in the capital of Ukraine, even before the Russian invasion, but now she’s unable to flee out of fear leaving her apartment will be more dangerous for her.
While all her friends and neighbors have been able to evacuate the city, she told CBS News, “I don’t want to go outside. I am literally scared for my life.”
Zi says the country isn’t accepting of LGBTQ folks, and she’s painfully aware that many of the men who’ve stayed behind as volunteer soldiers have guns. So, in a twisted way, she thinks staying trapped in her home — as bombs and missiles explode around her — feels like the better option.
Even if she makes it to the border, Zi says she’ll be blocked from leaving because “If you have male gender on your passport [as a woman] they will not let you abroad… they will not let you through.”
Her most immediate crisis is a dwindling reserve of food as the Russian assault on Kyiv intensifies … and it all leaves Zi feeling trapped on all fronts.