Tens of hundreds of individuals at present marched via central Warsaw on the annual LGBT Equality Parade. This yr’s occasion was held collectively with the KyivPride march, compelled to relocate from war-torn Ukraine.
The same old rainbow flags, the image of the LGBT group, have been joined by many blue-and-yellow Ukrainian and white-and-red Polish nationwide ones as marchers gathered on a sizzling day exterior the Palace of Tradition and Science.
They have been joined by 30 floats transferring alongside the route, as many contributors held aloft placards, chanted and sang songs in Ukrainian in addition to Polish. “Love will win”, “We’re with you” and “Rise above battle” have been a few of the slogans on show.
— maksym.eristavi 🇺🇦🏳️🌈 (@maksymeristavi) June 25, 2022
“For us, within the Equality Parade, group means standing in defence of others,” wrote the organisers of the Warsaw march. “Neighborhood means marching arm in arm for the protection and freedom of those that have had it taken away. We’re proud to affix Kyiv of their march for Ukraine’s victory.”
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the KyivPride organisers determined to maneuver the tenth version of their march from Kyiv to Warsaw. Poland has been the first vacation spot for Ukrainian refugees, with an estimated 1.5-2 million nonetheless within the nation.
In a speech firstly of the march, Warsaw Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski, who was joined on the route by EU equality commissioner Helena Dalli, additionally emphasised the distinctive nature of this yr’s occasion.
“Past our jap border, battle is happening, and this parade will due to this fact be particular, Trzaskowski mentioned, quoted by Wirtualna Polska. “I’m very comfortable that we are able to stroll collectively to bear witness to the truth that the overwhelming majority of Poles with open minds are tolerant and European and have respect for completely all people.”
— Rafał Trzaskowski (@trzaskowski_) June 25, 2022
“This parade is particular as a result of now we have pals from Ukraine with us, that’s why we took the Polish and Ukrainian flags with us,” Andrzej Kompa, a 42-year-old historian, instructed Notes from Poland.
“As I’m older, I can see that these modifications are going down in society…below the affect of our braveness, who don’t need to sit within the shadows. Politicians shouldn’t be afraid that we need to do some form of revolution right here, they need to solely adapt the legislation to what we as a society are already.”
City of 11,000 turns into smallest in Poland to host LGBT parade
LGBT rights have develop into part of a wider battle in each Poland and Ukraine, with opponents seeing marches and activism as an invasive “ideology” international to their conventional values.
Though in each nations polling has proven attitudes in the direction of the LGBT group shifting in a extra accepting course, they’ve additionally each recorded current declines within the “Rainbow Europe” rating produced by ILGA-Europe, which seems to be on the authorized and social scenario confronted by LGBT folks.
This yr, Poland fell to its lowest ever place within the rating, putting forty fourth out of 49 European nations.
Poland has been ranked because the worst nation within the EU for LGBT folks for the third yr operating by @ILGAEurope.
For extra, see the Rainbow Europe report (https://t.co/njV9lB0bep) and our article on final yr’s rating (https://t.co/KssEwnZCQC). pic.twitter.com/6o2HW09vFc
— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) May 12, 2022
Ukraine ranked thirty ninth, as “anti-LGBT hate speech and hate crimes continued to be a extreme subject”, the authors of the rating mentioned.
“I got here right here as a result of I needed to help the LGBT group,” mentioned Yana, a 23-year-old Ukrainian girl who has been residing in Poland for six years, at at present’s march. “I was homophobic due to our group, however I modified my thoughts and now I simply need to help these folks [to show them] that they’re sufficient as they’re.”
In 2019 and 2020, Polish delight parades grew to become a flashpoint forward of nationwide and presidential elections, with senior politicians from the ruling Regulation and Justice (PiS) social gathering utilizing robust anti-LGBT rhetoric. Warsaw held the primary such march in Poland, in 2001, though two later editions have been banned by the town’s then mayor, Lech Kaczyński.
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Essential picture credit score: Alicja Ptak
Alicja Ptak is senior editor at Notes from Poland and a multimedia journalist. She beforehand labored for Reuters.