Why does LGBT exist at all
"LGBT-free zones" in Poland : "You just can't be openly gay here, I had to move away"
What is the situation like in Zielona Gora, where you lived until recently?
I am chairman of an alliance there that works for equality. If we want to talk to politicians about our issues, we get no support at all. Our demands are not even noticed and completely rejected. An example: We wanted to launch a petition in Zielona Gora: Zielona Gora will remain free from hatred. Several politicians replied: This is a gender ideology that destroys families and does not conform to Polish norms.
Have there been attempts to make Zielona Gora an LGBT-free zone as well? Not yet.
Zielona Gora is located in western Poland, so far there is only one voivodeship - i.e. one administrative district - that has declared itself an LGBT-free zone. West Poland is still comparatively open, even if there are such blatant reactions there as just described.
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Do you have contact with places that have been declared LGBT-free zones?
There is limited discussion of LGBT issues in these communities. The talks are controlled at several levels (schools, parents' councils, public information bulletins) - and blocked by an ultra-conservative minority.
Who is promoting the declaration of LGBT-free zones?
This is the Ordo Iuris organization, a Catholic foundation. She even has branches in small towns and writes the applications for the local councils. The foundation's initiative is called “Stop Pedophilia”. That alone is infamous, because it is serving the prejudice that sexual minorities are prone to sexual violence against children. Ordo Iuris has also filed a complaint against the three people who published an "Atlas of Hate" which shows all LGBT-free zones on a map. These activists are going to run into massive problems now.
What is everyday life like in Poland as a lesbian woman or as a gay man?
You just can't be openly gay in Poland. That is also the reason why I have now moved to Paderborn. I can no longer live in Poland.
There are appalling reports of violent attacks against homosexuals in Poland.
These happen all the time. After the Pride Parade in Zielona Gora, I was attacked and beaten up myself. Just showing a rainbow flag means: You could be attacked in a moment.
Would you like support from Germany? Some say it is seen as paternalistic.
There is some support that we urgently need. The German twin cities of such Polish communities should sit down with them and talk openly about it: The situation is completely different here. You have to show your Polish partners how you can live freely and without hatred.
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