Sarah Ashton Cirillo: American Transgender Woman on the Front in Donbas

WOMR podcasts · 2023_02_28 Sarah Ashton Cirillo

Sarah Ashton Cirillo, American transgender journalist, has been fighting as a combat medic on the Ukrainian front in the Donbas. In the midst of war conditions, she finds respect and acceptance she lacks in the USA, as a transgender woman, judged in Ukraine solely on her performance rather than on sexual identity.

She has been fighting on the “Zero Front” in the Donbas until last week, when she was seriously injured. She is currently being hospitalized. Sarah spoke with us before her injury happened, speaking to us from a safehouse near the front, describing her acclimating to war conditions and her commitment to winning what she calls a “reign and rain of terror” from Russia.

Starting in March 2022, Ashton-Cirillo reported on the Russian invasion of Ukraine from Kharkiv, Ukraine, primarily for LGBTQ Nation. A trans woman, she is thought to have been the only transgender journalist covering the invasion. After witnessing the October 2022 Kyiv missile strikes, she resigned from LGBTQ Nation to become a combat medic in Ukraine’s Noman elebicihan Battalion, a Crimean Tatar unit.