Thousands of Polish LGBTQ + activists demonstrate in Warsaw for equality parade
Thousands of Polish activists united and marched through the streets of Warsaw to fight LGBTQ + discrimination.
The equality parade, which took place on Saturday, June 19, was filled with marchers, rainbow flags and was led by the city’s mayor, Rafal Trzaskowski.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the inclusive parade was postponed to 2020 but returned just in time for the 20th anniversary of the city’s first Pride event.
Rafal Wojtczak, spokesperson for the event, expressed his feelings about the march in a statement.
“Parade day is always a bittersweet time for our community,” he said. He went on to explain the sadness and helplessness that LGBTQ + people feel over the government’s anti-LGBTQ + legislation.
Polish director and LGBTQ + rights activist Bart Staszewski echoed the same sentiment, saying that homophobia is on the rise due to the government’s homophobic views.
“It has a chilling effect on the people who live there, who are now even more afraid to go out,” he said. “Those who bully LGBTQ + people are encouraged by homophobic politicians.”
In recent years, the Polish government has targeted sexual minorities and supported organizations that propagate homophobia.
The infamous ‘LGBT-free’ zones came to fruition after the ruling Law and Justice Party urged several towns in Poland to break free from ‘LGBT ideology’ – expose vulnerable LGBTQ + citizens to discrimination, prejudice and violence.
Ola Kaczorek, co-chair of LGBTQ + rights group Love Does Not Exclude spoke with Euro news and revealed that many people in the LGBTQ + community are afraid of what the future may hold for them.