Activists’ response to “LGBT free zones”
The group consists of 5 non-heteronormative women in Warsaw. Each one of them is engaged in feminist, anarchist and queer activism. Queer Tour is their activist response to the creation of “LGBT free zones”, i.e. municipalities, districts and voivodeships that adopted resolutions discriminating against non-heteronormative persons. According to Atlas Nienawiści (The Hate Atlas), 31% of Poland’s population lives in “LGBT free zones”. The collective’s members travel to small towns located in these regions, where there are no activities to support LGBTQ persons, and they talk with the local communities and support queer persons living there. They have already visited Puławy, Jarosław and Lubaczów, and are being invited to more and more villages and towns.
“Despite the violence we have experienced during the events, we believe that it is all the more important to support the local LGBTQ community”
Queer Tour organizes open stands, hands out flyers and publications, talks to those who approach them. For some people, it is their first meeting with an non-cis-heteronormative person “out of the closet”. “We speak about our sexual orientation openly because we are convinced that it is more difficult to be an enemy of someone you have met. We try to familiarize the locals with LGBTQ persons, who are used as a bogeymen by politicians”, say the collective’s members. Queer Tour does not only want to work in social education, but also to strengthen LGBTQ persons in the places thy visit. “During our tours, LGBTQ persons would come to the stands, out themselves, receive support”. Sometimes it is an impulse for the local community to mobilize and start acting.
Queer Tour will use the minigrant funds to go to other localities, post-pandemic situation permitting. At present, the group is using the funds to organize the mailing of Rainbow Letters – free packages with educational and promotional materials to queer persons and their allies in Poland. These include a book “Od A do Z o LGBTQIAP” (LGBTQIAP from A to Z), a comic book on transsexuality, pins and stickers.
Grant amount: PLN 4, 400
Photo credit: Queer Tour