What is it like to be an LGBT individual in today’s Poland? According to this documentary co-directed by Slawomir Grünberg and Katka Reszke, it is a bit of a strange situation.
Although there are no official figures to define the Polish LGBT population, the film estimates that as many as two million gays and lesbians live in Poland. The capital of Warsaw seems to be most welcoming to the LGBT community, where gay pride parades and demonstrations occur without incident; if other Polish cities have gay events or venues, they are not cited.
The film seems to dwell on LGBT Poles who are involved in the arts and media – to the point that one person complains that people outside of those fields have difficulty being open about their sexuality. Indeed, there is no Polish expression for “coming out,” with the English-language phrase used to describe this action.
A few street theater opponents to the gay rights movement are seen, but the film suggests that the average citizen is unimpressed with their rhetoric. And while there is talk of homophobia, there are very few cases presented here of actual harassment or violence – one teen speaks of being punched in the mouth by classmates, while an arrest of two men hugging on a Warsaw subway platform is followed up by a demonstration of same-sex couples showing open affection on the same platform.
A young gay Jewish man complains about not finding a soul mate of his faith, while the influence of the Catholic Church in shaping national values is mostly ignored.
Overall, this little film offers a mild snapshot instead of an in-depth study of Poland’s LGBT world.