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Polish LGBT celebs unite to fight homophobia with Taylor Swift

Emma Powys Maurice July 30, 2019

Scenes from the Polish LGBT version of Taylor Swift's "You Need To Calm Down" (YouTube)

Some of Poland’s most well-known LGBT+ politicians, celebrities and activists are using the power of Taylor Swift to tackle the rising anti-LGBT+ sentiment in their country.

More than 140 people contributed lip-synching videos to create a Polish version of Taylor Swift’s anti-homophobia anthem, “You Need To Calm Down.”

It includes the Deputy President of Warsaw, Paweł Rabiej, party leader and European Parliament member Robert Biedron, Top Model winner Radek Pestka, and many other journalists, activists and TV stars.

Also present in the video are the model Romek Gelard, Mr. Gay Poland Lukasz Sabat, the famous Polish drag queen Kim Lee, and the popular vlogger Natalia Radtke.

Anti-LGBT sentiment is rising in Poland

The video was created by Jakub Kwiecinski, a gay man growing frustrated by the spread of anti-LGBT+ extremism in his country.

Recent months have seen “LGBT-free zone stickers” being distributed to businesses, Pride-goers being pelted with rocks, and the Polish president considering a “gay propaganda” ban.

Kwiecinski told LGBTQ Nation: “We didn’t have any money but had a huge will to do [the video], so we asked LGBT people to record their own videos and send them to us.

“The response was overwhelming — we got 350 videos! Considering the huge scale of homophobia in our country,  these were 140 brave people.”

Scenes from the Polish LGBT video (YouTube)
Scenes from the Polish LGBT video (YouTube)

The result is a defiant celebration of Poland’s diverse LGBT+ community, who refuse to back down in the face of growing homophobia.

Kwiecinski, who is spreading the video using the hashtag #Polandcalmdown, said: “We did it for fun but also to draw world’s attention on LGBT+ rights in our country.

“That’s why video ends with two boards where we inform people about the huge scale of homophobia in our country.”

The final images of the video address the upswing in homophobic public sentiment in Poland, “one of the most homophobic countries in Europe.”

In reference to the “LGBT-free zone” stickers, the video states that this is the first time since World War II that zones have been created in Europe to ban a minority group.

 

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