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The situation for Lesbians in Poland

Lesbians in Poland have a hard time being seen and accepted.

Up until 1989, women were allowed to work in technical professions and to have abortions. With the fall of communism, the government changed and Poland became a country dominated by strong Catholic ideals. This lead to a backlash and decrease in female rights, where women were seen as housewives and granted significantly fewer rights. In early 2021 the court intensified the already tightened abortion rights. Women are now not allowed to have an abortion even if the fetus is not considered viable. Women in Poland are therefore denied bodily autonomy more and more.

Lesbians, i.e homosexual women, are facing discrimination by being a woman in general and because of their homosexuality. For homosexual couples, there is no legal right to get married or have an official partnership. They are not allowed to adopt children and do not benefit from the family allowance - introduced in 2015. The health care system does not offer a safe surrounding for LGBTIQ* people. It also does not offer any protection against unequal treatment based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or sexual characteristics. Quite the contrary, there have still been no legal consequences for, or changes towards, „healers“, that claim that they "heal" homosexuality. So-called „conversion therapy “ can officially be offered and practiced. There is furthermore no possibility for homosexuals to take legal action against hate speeches or discrimination. Officials and the police are using their power to brutally work against LGBTIQ*-activists and do not dread any consequences. On the other hand, LGBTIQ*-activists can easily be put in prison for up to three years for the crime of so-called „pedophilia “.

Note: Educating on diversity and the LGBTIQ*-scene is seen as an offense against the heteronormative ideal family and, hence, a pedophiliac act against children.

The gender ideology of the government shows clearly that the family, consisting of a husband, a wife, and kids, is seen as the holy image of a family. It also tries to push women back into their „roles as wives“. LGBTIQ* people that do not fit into that heteronormative image are called out by the conservative government, its supporters, and the media as „terrorists", "the bad, imported by western countries" as well as "destroyers of the hetero-family“.

The media is deadnaming LGBTIQ* people, or the correct terminology is not adequately used, so in some cases, lesbians are referred to as „female gays“. This shows the official ignorance against LGBTIQ* people in Poland and indicates that women are still seen as an inferior form of men.

Also problematic is the low presence of officially outed lesbians. Well-known women from the media, radio, and journalism regularly come out. However, they are often ignored, slandered, and denied their identity. So in reality, there are few lesbian activists in Poland, although to the outside world it seems like there are more.

"Despite the fact that there are so few of us, we have a gigantic influence." - female polish activist in the documentary of Magda Wystub "Yes we are!"

So much more needs to be done for the scene in Poland. Because instead of a slow acceptance of the LGBTIQ* scene, the Polish government is backsliding in its thinking. Since the election of Andrezej Duda in 2020, the LGBTIQ*-scene is continuously limited from rights and suppressed from society. To get further information and education on the situation in Poland, you can e. g. follow our campaign with Fundacja Równość. The group Stop Bzdurom (Stop the Bullshit) for example, founded in 2019, fights against the general backlash from the right and for a queer-friendly and feminist society in Poland. Support the females, homosexuals, and the LGBTIQ*-scene in Poland. Share articles that educate on the situation in Poland. Support polish activists, that fight for their rights in their country. Get loud and politically active and share your opinion on the behaviors and actions of the Polish government against LGBTIQ* people. This behavior does not conform with human rights and the EU goals!!!

Enough is Enough Team