More than 3 million Ukrainians have been displaced across Europe since the onset of Russia's invasion — and among them are countless LGBTQ individuals who have come up against unique roadblocks as they’ve tried to flee for safety.
That's especially true for transgender people, many of whom only have passports showing their assigned sex at birth, which creates issues when trying to cross the border, explains Rain Dove, a London-based nonbinary model and activist leading a grassroots effort to get LGBTQ and other vulnerable people out of Ukraine.
"Even bombs outside their window have not shaken the homophobia out of people," Dove tells Yahoo Life on Monday via a video call from the Ukraine-Poland border.
In less than three weeks, Dove says, their newly formed grassroots organization, Safebow, has cobbled together a remarkable network of hundreds of volunteers while raising over $100,000. In partnership with local organizations like TransCore Romania and Kyiv Pride, Dove (who uses they/them pronouns) says their team has been instrumental in the evacuations of nearly 4,000 people; Yahoo Life can verify at least 1,000 names, as seen in a spreadsheet shared by Safebow organizers.