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Polish gay couple hand out hundreds of rainbow masks to fight both coronavirus and their country’s ‘LGBT-free’ zones

Lily Wakefield April 20, 2020
Poland: Couple fight COVID-19 and LGBT-free zones with rainbow masks

Jakub and David created hundreds of rainbow masks. (jakubidawid/ Instagram)

A gay couple in Poland have been distributing rainbow face masks in “LGBT-free” zones, to fight both homophobia and the coronavirus.

More than a third of Poland is pledging to become an ‘LGBT-free’ zone, pledging to refrain from acts that encourage tolerance and avoiding providing financial assistance to NGOs working to promote equal rights.

The intolerance is driven largely by the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS), which has frequently targeted LGBT+ rights as an invasive foreign influence or “plague” that threatens the country’s national identity.

But Jakub and David, a Polish gay couple, decided that in the face of discrimination they would spread kindness and positivity during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a YouTube video about their project, the couple said: “Basic protection measures are lacking, and masks have become scarce products. That is why we made our masks and we will give them out to people.

“But our masks are really unique because they are rainbow! So called by many, the ‘LGBT plague’ is helping to protect people from a real plague.”

Jakub said he borrowed a sewing machine from his grandmother and made 300 masks with his partner David to give out for free on the streets of the tri-city towns of Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sopot.

Although in their YouTube video there were some tense moments, the reaction was overwhelmingly positive.

When one man asked if the masks came in other colours, the couple confidently replied: “No.” At one point a security guard approached them to tell them they were in a “private area”, but then added: “But when you come with such a great initiative, I don’t mind.”

According to Star Observer, Jakub said: “Many LGBT-free zones were created in our country so we were a bit afraid how people would react but they were really touched by our idea. I think they really appreciated that someone cared about their health.

“It was great to see that rainbow didn’t scare people but will help them stay safe… Many of Polish people call us a plague, so we thought if we help people overcome real plague, they might change their mind. I know it’s naive, but if we can do something good then why not?”

Last week, MPs in Poland voted not to kill a controversial bill that would criminalise sex education and denounce those who teach it as paedophiles and LGBT+ activists.

More: Coronavirus, Law and Justice Party, LGBT-free zones, PiS, Poland, pride flag, rainbow masks

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