„As a young person, I grew up in Sanok, a small town in the Southeastern, very conservative part of Poland. I had already known I was a non-heterosexual person and I had been feeling very lonely. I’d envied the big cities’ pride marches. If such pride had been held in our town, my growing up would have been much easier.
Then I’d thought that it was not possible, that there had been no chance for it. I’d left Sanok. I’d started activism in some other, more central cities.
It was 2022 when my friends from Sanok came up with the idea of the LGBT+ people claiming publicly Sanok as our home as well. The idea to do something that would make us a community there and let us be proud and celebrate together. It was my friends who made me believe that one day a pride march in Sanok could be possible.
We were not spared challenges while organising it. Before the pride we were getting a lot of threats, it was making me feel afraid for participants’ security.
And the pride itself? There was a sense of community, I was happy and relieved. The city residents reacted positively. They waved to us from their windows and balconies. There were even neighbours coming out to each other while marching with us. People who had long moved away from Sanok also came to the city on this very occasion to be there together. When it was over, I cried from emotion.
My friend has told me recently she was planning on coming back to Sanok, bringing their partner with them. That due to the pride, they were quite positive about the move. It makes me feel we have been reclaiming the city for our community”.
A long way to go for equality
According to ILGA-Europe’s ranking, Poland is the country where legislation treats LGBT+ people the worst in the entire European Union. It means practically no protection for LGBT+ people from hate crimes, discrimination and prejudice-based violence.
Despite the systemic homo- and transphobia, the fundamentalists in power, LGBT+ free zones and a massive campaign of hatred and fear – there are more and more prides in Poland every year. These prides are being organized in smaller and smaller towns and cities, expressing pride, courage and support for local queer communities.
Help us increase the visibility of LGBT+ people in Poland. Help us raise funds for 10 new prides in the most conservative communities!
Why we have joined the cause?
Because 75% of LGBT+ youth in Poland reports having suicidal thoughts. Pride marches are there to give them faith and hope for a better and safer future. To show to LGBT+ youth that there is a community around them where they can seek support, be embraced and cherished.
Because in recent years in Poland, nearly 70% of LGBT people have experienced some form of sexual orientation or gender identity based violence. Prides are there to make each person feel comfortable and safe just being themselves, among people like themselves.
Because 83% of Polish same-sex couples are afraid to hold hands in public. Prides give LGBT+ families and individuals a chance to be seen in a large group and proudly walk the main streets of their cities, showing their love and affection to each other and to their community, despite difficulties.
Bank transfer details:
Fundusz dla Odmiany
64 1600 1462 1825 6344 5000 0006
IBAN: PL64 1600 1462 1825 6344 5000 0006
Donation for Polish Prides Fund
Who we are?
The fund is a joint initiative of the For a Change Fund and the Polish Prides Alliance.
You can also use our donorbox page to support us with credit card payment https://donorbox.org/polish-prides-fund
Polish Prides Alliance – we are LGBTQIA+ persons and allies who organise marches for equal rights of all people regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity in our local communities. We share a strong belief that building a united voice across divisions, particularly one including the situation of LGBTQIA+ persons outside of major urban centres, will be a real step toward achieving equality in Poland. The Alliance currently includes more than 30 groups and organizations.
For a Change Fund is a participatory microgranting fund for individuals, informal groups and CSOs supporting LGBT+ people in local communities in Poland (especially in small towns and rural areas). Beside of microgrants the Fund provides trainings, consultations and education courses. We dream of Poland where LGBT+ people feel at home in every community. At last.