Friday, July 23, 2010

Warsaw: Not So Gay

In the wake of last week's EuroPride 2010, I was able to prod the Poles I know on their opinions and views.  One Pole actually marched in the parade; another Pole warned me beforehand not to be 'converted'; but most Poles afterward were rather ambivalent.  Many discussed how they didn't hate gay people, stating that they were OK around gays and thought they should have equal rights (sometimes, including marriage.)  Most, were rather skeptical of the gay-pride parade, wondering why anyone would "be proud to have sex with another man."  (I, playing devil's advocate, pointed out St. Patrick's Day parades and why anyone would be proud of being Irish.)  The whole point of the parade was called into question and there were calls for the gays to "go back to Berlin."  (I also pointed out that the Love Parade was not a gay-pride parade.)  Almost to a T, they all stated that gays ought not to be able to adopt children, claiming that two daddies would confuse the child and that it was unnatural.
So it is, Warsaw (and Poland) really isn't that gay or that welcoming to gays.  Sure, there are a few gay clubs (it was news to me too) and probably plenty of gays living in Warsaw, but many gays have left Poland for places like the UK, Germany, and Norway (where many Poles go anyway to get educated and for work.)  Even sponsorship of the parade was mostly muted.
Now, don't get the wrong idea, Warsaw isn't the most open city towards GLBT, but they aren't the most closed (maybe Moscow takes that trophy.)  Many Poles are tolerable and probably couldn't care less; it's more of the whole marriage/adoption thing they oppose.  They may be put off by drag queens dancing to samba music, or by the sight of two fellows necking, but to most, it doesn't exactly stir feelings of hatred or anger.
As for the future, I say things are probably going to change and loosen up a little.  Deeper contact with the EU and the exchange of ideas will change the society bit by bit.  Let's see what happens in twenty years.

(NOTE:  My own opinions are kept under wraps.  I am only putting what others said to me into context.)

1 comment:

YouNxt said...

Great blog and thanks for adding YouNxt to your blogroll - we've added you to ours.

Really like the post on Przekąski Zakąski - I wanted to write about it for a while but didn't have any photos. Wondering if you might be able to share some? We could link back to your site. Our email address is

Anyway, keep up the great work!