Viktor Pylypenko stripped of war medal because he’s gay

Viktor Pylypenko
Image: Viktor Pylypenko Facebook

On February 8, 2024, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate awarded soldier Viktor Pylypenko a medal for his war service.

But then, someone told them Viktor Pylypenko is gay. It’s no a big secret.

After coming out as gay in 2018, Victor launched the charity LGBT+ Military, which supports LGBT+ soldiers and veterans. He also helped organise Ukraine’s largest-ever Pride parade in 2021.

Immediately after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the former soldier rejoined the Ukrainian military. Over the last few years, he has fought in the battle of Bakhmut, described by some as the bloodiest battle of the 21st century.

Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate

Two weeks after awarding his medal, the Kyiv Patriarchate demanded it back.

“We thank soldier Viktor Pylypenko, as well as all our defenders for protecting our freedom and territorial integrity, for his military merits, but we do not share his sinful preferences and LGBT agitation.

“We inform you that in view of the open propaganda of a sinful ideology and the denial of the existence of God, the church award to Pylypenko is to be considered annulled.”

LGBT+ Military described the Ukranian Orthodox Church’s homophobia as ‘prehistoric.’

“Such discrimination is barbaric and, unfortunately, still remains unpunished, because there is no protection against homophobia and transphobia in the legislation.

“We call on the authorities to finally implement the necessary draft laws to protect the community that protects the state.

“After all, you can cancel the award, but you can never cancel freedom.”

Magomed Tushayev: Chechen anti-gay warlord killed in Ukraine.

As war rages, thousands petition for same-sex marriage in Ukraine.

Designed in Battle: supporting queer Ukrainian soldiers.

Ukrainian activist Elya Shchemur killed by Russian bombs.

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Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at

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