Friday, March 9, 2007

More Media Attention

Here's the poster I get to see everyday on my way to work in the morning. Yes, it's nice to see my lesbian counterpart spinning around in front of the church.

TV Events

Since Biedron wasn't able to capitalize on the offer to be on Teraz My we had to jump on anything else coming our way. That included Homofonia, mentioned in the previous post. Daria and I were there as the faces of the poster. Marta Abramowicz represented KPH as our psychologist. What we DIDN'T know was that the program also invited Franciszek, a member of the ultra-right wing All-Poland Youth organization. This would have been fine normally (they tend to have a cadre of dashing young men...much like Mormon missionaries) except that the hosts of the show claimed that they are "relaxed" on the show, no need to stress. Not that I was stressed, but what I did fear (and what happened) was that once Franek was introduced into the conversation, it turned into a "discussion" about where homosexuality comes from, how not to let it spread, and so on. I'm not particularly interested in engaging in nonsense. For example when Marta explained that science has shown that it is in fact not a sickness, he claimed that he "also has research".

We were also "present" at the show Co z tÄ… PolskÄ…?, a fairly serious political talk show. The topic was abortion and homosexuality, in response to the statements made by Giertych in Germany (reminder: the Polish Minster of Education wants a European0-wide ban on abortion and the "promotion of homosexuality"). It really was a sort of depressing show in that the two "rightwing" politicians were in all senses of the word stupid. One of the is the vice-Minister of Education, a man who questioned evolution and thinks Darwin came up with it because he was vegetarian. And these are the people who might change the Constitution to outlaw abortion in Poland in ALL situations, even when a woman's life is at risk. It just goes to show how much the domination of women in the name of....whatever, but here mostly nationalism, leads to drastic measures. It's no coincidence that those who are most committed to the subordination of women are also the deeply homophobic.

False Friends?

Here's another example of those who claim to be allies. In Poland it remains that those who are "gay-friendly" really are often limited in their support. It's almost a "take-it-where-you-can-get-it" situation. This article is written by a TV/radio journalist, Konrad Piasecki entitled "Homofobia kontra homononsens" (Homophobia versus Homo-nonsense). (we can see where this one is going). Some of his more interesting statements include:

Registration for homosexual partners? I'm pro. Adoption of children by them?Against. Posters with gays holding hands? Why not? But aggressive "what are you starting at, dyke?" attacking me from a bus stop doesn't sit well with me.

[...] These issues need more normal discussion and less emotion, less getting worked up unhealthily, and gestures to the electorate. I'm for seriously considering the postulates of the homosexual community. If they really want registered partnerships, and will sensibly convince us of it, then it's worth thinking about. For now they're doing a terrible job convincing, attacking poor Warsovians with the phrase "what are you staring at, fagot" or becoming hysterical and hedonistic. They'll be met with neutrality in the best scenario. However I feel that treating gays and lesbians as second class citizens who deserve at most a shrugging of the shoulders is in the wrong direction. [...]

As the stereotypical gatekeeper of the Polish nation, a heterosexual man, Piasecki is kind enough to go so far as to "listen to our concerns and take them into account" (don't call us, we'll call you). As far as we're good gays and lesbians, sit quietly in our corner and do our own thing, then things are fine. Adoption is the darling of the right in Poland, it's always brought up to show how "far" us gays want to far as to permanently scar innocent Polish children, which evidently are not ours (much like the Jews needed Polish children to make their matzo).

His support of our previous poster campaign (an example of which is here) warms the heart. It's still in his comfort zone, that's ok. But drawing attention to the actual hate speech, discrimination and everyday reality of lgbt people steps over the boundary of good taste. Instead of insulting "poor Warsovians" who simply want to live normally and not think about the reality of intolerance which flourishes, we should grin and bear it (even by holding hands).

I agree with him that indeed we do need calm, rational debate on these issues. We need to put our emotions aside and not hedonistically consider only our personal situation. But where is Mr. Piasecki when we organize conferences? Where is he when we monitor hate crimes and meet with politicians? Where is he when our academic panel sessions are kicked off off college campuses because "this issue" isn't appropriate? Anyway, obviously he's not the worst one out there, just indicative of how much work needs to be done on all accounts. In the meantime, here are some more pics. Me by my poster hanging on the wall of a vegetarian restaraunt (one which probably supports the blasphemous theory of evolution!) and Daria's poster in front of the children's store, Smyk.


Dez said...

We obviously need a straight white Catholic male to tell us what exactly "we people" need and how should we go about getting it. Give me a MFing break... when a straight guy calls himself a male feminist or a gay ally, everyone's like "zomg you're so progressive and enlightened", without checking if he HAS A GODDAMN CLUE. And when the oppressed groups speak up, we're being branded as unreasonable and shrill.
It's the same in all minority/anti-oppression settings, there's always this one person who will not check their privilege because hey, zie has [minority] friends.

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