Names of LGBT+ teens bullied into suicide painted on the walls of Poland’s Ministry of Education to send a powerful message
The names of LGBT+ teens bullied into suicide were spray-painted onto the Ministry of Education in Poland to remind those inside of the consequences of homophobic hate.
The historic Warsaw building, a former Gestapo prison where many were tortured, was targeted by a group of anonymous masked activists at 11pm on Tuesday night.
In unmissable blue and red paint they wrote the names: “Dominik”, “Milo”, “Zuzia”, “Kacper”, “Wiktor”, followed by the words: “Your LGBT+ child”.
The act enraged the Minister of Education, Dariusz Piontkowski, who called a press conference on Wednesday morning to address the matter.
“This is pure barbarism for whatever reason,” he declared, as reported by Wyborcza. He said the message has been left by a “bunch of idiots” whom he compared to Taliban militants destroying cultural heritage sites.
“The video footage we have shows that the crime was premeditated and planned,” he continued. “Removing the spray paint will cost us several thousand Zloty. We hope that the police will catch the suspects and that they receive justice.”
“So, the building is more important to you?” asked one journalist, mentioning the case of a 12-year-old girl in Kozienice who took her life.
“I know you tend to react emotionally when it comes to certain issues,” the minister replied. He claimed there was “nothing” to suggest her suicide was in any way linked to homophobic bullying – despite the girl’s own peers admitting that it was.
When another journalist disagreed with him, pointing out that each of the names referred to specific LGBT+ teens who took their own lives due to homophobic bullying in Poland, Piontkowski still refused to consider the intent of the message.
“I think that opinions and grievances should be communicated in a civilised way,” he said. “The people who did it are idiots and barbarians incapable of respecting historical monuments. We can of course discuss the other issues.
“To me, [the graffiti] is an act of pure barbarism, I think it should be punished,” he concluded.
The writings appeared shortly after the media reported that the current Minister of Education will be replaced by Przemysław Czarnek, a man who believes Pride parades are “abominations” and that LGBT+ people “aren’t equal to normal people”.
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