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Poland’s LGBTQ+ Zones: A Brief Run-through

You would think that having endured the dehumanisation of a minority during the Second World War, Poland would have emerged on the other side ending the cycle of injustice. However, Poland is still polarised. The re-election of President Andrzej Duda in July 2020 has meant the attack against the LGBTQ+ community is still ongoing, alongside this came ‘Anti-LGBTQ+ Zones.’

Anti-LGBTQ+ zones in Poland currently occupy a space around the size of 1/3 of Poland which equates to the size of Hungary, covering 100 towns and cities in the south-east of Poland. In these zones, the so-called ‘rainbow plague’ (as stated by The Archbishop of Krakow) is strongly opposed, stemming predominantly from the religious right. In these zones, people are forced to make a choice; either emigrate, resist the injustice or fight back. These exact options mirror the forced fates of Jews in the Second World War. 

Life in these zones, understandably, is tough. However, it is not just in these areas that fear arises. Even in the capital, Warsaw, despite being considered more open, features frequent attacks against the LGBTQ+ community. Those from the community have stated they avoid night buses due to verbal and physical attacks. To make matters worse in June 2020, President Duda signed ‘The Family Card’ which serves to ‘protect’ traditional family values. In reality, this will just cause more harm. The card works against the LGBTQ+ community by defending marriages between man and woman and defending children from the ‘propagation’ of LGBTQ+ ideology in school and the public sphere. What should be naturalised is being turned into something corrupt by the right-wing traditionalists.

Currently, the future generation is being shaped by this environment. One which is not being changed despite the LGBTQ+ free zones being against the rules of the European Union. The commission has condemned any form of discrimination and is committed to fighting against injustice, yet the discriminatory ideals still persist. People need to look inwards to instigate change in the world around them.

I’m writing this for exposure. How in 2020 is Poland a society that mimics some of the darkest times in history? Why isn’t a different response, a global response, being triggered? The future doesn’t look great for LGBTQ+ rights in Poland right now - the Poles need their polls changing. Follow the links below to help spread the word or donate, and make as much noise as possible. 

Here are some petitions that need your support:

https://www.change.org/p/mateusz-morawiecki-pass-laws-that-would-protect-lgbt-people-in-poland-and-abolish-current-anti-lgbt-laws

https://action.allout.org/en/a/poland/#form-section

 

Hania Es on YouTube documented her experience at the Pride Parade in Poland back in July, which shows the extent of hostility that survives in anti-LGBTQ+ zones. Exposure to such content is difficult, but is necessary to help spread the word and fight against injustice:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsAsm6p7XgU&feature=youtu.be

 

Alternatively, here are some links to some pro-LGBTQ+ funds that you can donate to:

https://mnw.org.pl/wspieram/

http://lambdawarszawa.org/lambdawarszawa/wlacz-sie/darowizna/

 

Callie is a second-year at King's College London studying English. She's a small-town girl (living in a lonely world) but a freshly converted city girl. Callie is an avid cinema go-er and a cat lover, who covers LGBTQ+ issues and popular culture.
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