Angelina is an aspiring jewelry designer, dancer and model whose life is full of celebrating beauty in all its manifestations.
I am 23 years old, the last 6 of which I live in Kyiv. Currently I’m working for a Canadian company remotely as a customer support representative, and I am also preparing for the launch of my own jewelry brand. It all started with me getting stuck in a then-occupied part of the Sumy region and needing something to distract myself – so I picked up bead weaving. That's how the idea to create something of my own was born, and I'm very excited to show it to the world. I have also been working as a model since I was 19, mostly for lingerie brands. It all started with one shoot, then I started to get regularly booked by different brands, and I really like doing it, because I adore beautiful underwear.
About female sexuality
As a child, I spent more time with girls, because I was taught that with boys, you have to be careful, and with girls you can communicate as you want. It so happened that the first experience, in adolescence, was with girlfriends, because it seemed to us that it was a safer way to discover ourselves and our bodies, to try kissing for the first time. My first kiss was with a girl, and it was very comfortable for me. But with boys it was such a fear, the first kiss with a boy seemed to me like something serious. And in general, relationships with boys were something so strange and incomprehensible to me, it felt like a certain danger. It evened out with age and I had a long, serious relationship with a guy. Around the age of 20, I realized that I wanted something else that he couldn't provide, but it wasn't like I wanted a relationship with a person of the opposite sex, no. I just wanted to find someone with whom I would feel comfortable. And so it happened that it was a girl. In general, I fall in love with a person, and I am attracted to different things in men and women, I feel differently with them. What attracts me to men is their attitude and the fact that you can feel protected, they care about you, and I need this masculine energy, because then I feel more feminine. With girls, on the contrary, more masculine energies are activated in me, I want to show more signs of attention, take care of them. But it's women who inspire me, it's them that I admire.
About the first relationship with a woman
I once worked in a cafe, and one day a very beautiful girl came to us - small, thin, dark-haired, and there was something very attractive and mysterious about her. We smiled at each other, but at some point she left - I didn't even notice. But she left a note on the table - there was a drawing of me, note said how beautiful I was, and she also left her phone number. It was very romantic, people almost never do that now! We started to communicate, get to know each other, but in a friendly way, until at some point we finally admitted that we liked each other. We always had an attraction to each other and the relationship was very harmonious. For both of us, it was the first experience of a relationship with a woman, we did everything intuitively, and even discussed the fact that if nothing works out for us and someone wants a more traditional relationship - it's okay, we will accept it and remain friends. It was a very thrilling and romantic time, because we gave each other such care, attention and understanding that neither of us had experienced before.
About the reactions of the close ones
I’ve never actually felt any negative feedback about it, neither cruel words nor even side-eyes. It's just that the people around me are more likely to give a compliment or ask a question, because they are interested in knowing my opinion, and in general, it can just be curiosity and that's normal. No negative words were ever spoken in my direction or in the direction of my girlfriend. In our bubble everyone reacted to it very decently. Some were surprised, but that’s pretty much it. The only thing is that I don't talk much about my personal life to my family, but I think they love me enough to understand and accept me for who I am.
About the power of creativity and dance
Beading became my refuge to normality during the occupation. We only had potatoes and pasta to cook, couldn't do anything or go out, so I wanted at least something bright in life – and that’s how the first beaded top was made. Then I didn't think of making a business out of it, I just liked the process and thought about how it would look on a woman's body. I kept on weaving and at this point I'm already preparing to launch the brand. Upon my return to Kyiv I also resumed dance classes, which I missed very much but couldn’t even dare to try again for the last 1.5 years. Now I dance vogue and heels and also started to attend dance events - I'm very glad those are still possible in Kyiv. Dancing is what keeps me sane, just living from Saturday to Saturday, it helps me feel more alive. And it's a fantastic community of people that inspire me a lot too.
About what changed with the beginning of the invasion
From the first days of the invasion, being under occupation, I could not sit still and had to do at least something to be useful. It started with weaving protective nets for our military, knitting socks for them and helping coordinate volunteering work for a lot of people. I just looked at the posts on social networks about what kind of help is needed and helped to engage people into work according to their skills. I didn't just return to Kyiv - I’ve literally bursted into it, because in 1.5 months during the occupation, a lot of things changed inside me and became clear to me about myself. When you realize that your life can end at any moment, it immediately becomes easy to be honest with yourself, to understand how you want to live your life, all priorities are laid out in plain sight for you. Upon return, I gave a lot of my clothes to charity, began to regularly help people, and at the same time came to feel more courageous to live the life I’ve always been dreaming of.
About participation in the Anoeses x KyivPride project
Participating in this project is important to me because there are people who are ashamed of their desires, afraid to express themselves, and I want to show them by my own example that this is not something to be ashamed of. Why? We are who we are, and you will be much happier and healthier if you stay true to yourself and don't hide. Even if you don't know who you really are yet, you have to try, do something new, and do it with love and without fear. There is already too much pain and disappointment in life, so you should try to live this life the way you want.
Freedom is choosing your own path in life and moving it the way you want, feeling protected and confident.
Courage is going to war, protecting people, being fully aware of the consequences and danger to one's own life, and also being honest with oneself, opening up to society and not hiding one's own personality.
Beauty is the state of a person, it comes from the inside, when a person is happy, balanced, in harmony with themselves and this world - it is always very beautiful.
Love is all around, it is in everything and it begins with us, with self-acceptance and love.