A Ukrainian Transgender Man Conveniently Identified As A Woman Once Again To Escape Russia's Invasion

By Gina Florio··  3 min read
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Ukraine refugees

Ukrainian refugees have been fleeing their home country by the millions in order to escape Russia's invasion. One person in particular had to go through some extra lengths in order to leave Ukraine.

A transgender man going by the pseudonym Andriy told Business Insider her story of escape from Ukraine in the midst of Russia's invasion. A woman who adopted a transgender identity later in life and made herself look like and sound like a man, Andriy didn't want to stay behind in Ukraine after she heard that all men ages 18-60 were required to stay in the country and serve in the military against Russia.

This Transgender Man Acted Like A Woman Again to Get Across the Border

Andriy told Insider that she needed to stay in Ukraine with her mother and care for her, so she needed to find a way to get out of the country because she had no interest in staying behind to fight in the military. She got in touch with Rain Dove Dubilewski, an activist from London that was helping a group of trans people get out of Ukraine.

"Have you had top or bottom surgery," Dubilewski asked. She didn't have any surgeries done, so the next question was whether she had her original passport that had "female" on it. She did, so Dubilewski instructed Andiry to tell border patrol that she lost her current ID, which has "male" on it, and only show them her old female ID.

Andriy traveled to the border checkpoint with his mother. It was a grueling two-day journey and she said they were both very nervous.

"I was so scared. My head was messed up, and I was so tired," Andriy said. "Thankfully, Mom told them that we've lost all the documents and have only a copy of my female ID. The conductor looked at me closely, asked me to take off my hat, and then she let us on the train."

But because Andriy spent a lot of time in her life to make herself look like a man, she had to change a few things about her appearance in order to look like a woman again. "We decided I had to whisper so that nobody would notice my deep voice," Andriy said. "I even painted my nails violet and wore Mom's shirt to look more girly."

Andriy says it was painful for her gender identity to act like she was a woman again. But it was successful, and both she and her mother made it across the border. Sounds like a small price to pay for your freedom.

How convenient that she was able to act like a woman once again in order to escape a military draft. It sounds like Andriy only wanted to accept the parts of being a man that were convenient for her, but as soon as true manhood was shoved into her face she quickly reached for the purple nail polish and old female ID in order to escape the dangers of war.

"I was shaking and couldn't sleep until I crossed the border. But at the border, nobody checked our documents, the train continued moving," she said. "When we arrived at Przemysl, we had to pass through customs control. It didn't take even three minutes.

Andriy says she's "never been so happy and exhausted." Surely it must feel good to briefly become a woman again in order to escape the parts of masculinity that you want no part of.

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