Today’s Solutions: May 28, 2024

Previously working as a metal fabricator in Denver, Colorado, Agatha Williams decided to uproot their life to provide humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine. The invasion of the country has placed many civilians in unwanted circumstances, having to face the daily horrors of war.

Williams is a member of the Renegade Relief Runners, or 3XR for short, a group dedicated to providing critical supplies of food, medicine, and hygiene products across war zones in northeast Ukraine. 3XR’s stocked-up vans have made multiple rounds to towns such as Zolochiv and Parkhomivka, which have experienced harsh food insecurity.

Going by the pronouns they/them, Williams is part of the LBGTQ+ community. Their face tattoos and stretched ears make them a striking figure amongst the Ukrainian populace, and it’s easy to assume some members of the seemingly conservative nation may not receive them well. However, they have reported heartfelt welcomes from the people they have interacted with, including Zolochiv’s vice mayor.

Fellow American Ken Brady, also volunteering at 3XR, spoke to LBGTQ Nation about how he believes his openly LBGTQ associate was received. “I admit some trepidation myself, about being out of place as a snarky, tattooed Asian-American, but together we have experienced zero prejudice that I’m aware of,” Brady explained.

He continued, “Ukraine needs and appreciates all help, and each of us is here to provide exactly that. In addition to Agatha, many of my LGBTQ friends at home will be equally surprised and, I hope encouraged, by the presence of a transgender reporter asking this question. Traveling to some of the hardest-hit areas with members of the queer community has shown me Ukraine is not messing around, and that help is welcomed despite identity.”

Multiple stories from front-line workers report a huge collective diversity of those who came to aid Ukrainian civilians and their acceptance in the face of war.

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