Twitter: @YIMBYPoland
Twitter: @YIMBYPoland

Poland’s LGBTQ+ community celebrated Pride with peaceful marches after years of opposition.

On 3 September, nearly 4000 people hit the streets of Katowice for the city’s annual LGBTQ+ Pride and equality march.

According to Notes from Poland, the annual event was a collaborative venture with the Ukrainian city of Odesa to show solidarity with its queer community.

While there were no violent interruptions from anti-LGBTQ+ individuals, it was met with opposition from the conservative group Fundacja Pro.

Before the march, Katowice’s mayor attempted to ban the organisation from attending, but a court overturned the decision – which resulted in the group showing up with anti-LGBTQ+ signs and banners.

The city of Lublin also held its fourth annual equality Pride parade.

Like Katowice, the 1,000-person event was a peaceful affair despite previous years of violence and having a heavy police presence.

“There is an absolutely huge change compared to previous years,” one attendee told Note from Poland. “We are extremely happy that our marches have changed our reality.”

Katowice and Lublin’s Pride marches weren’t the only ones to take place in Poland this year.

Back in May, Milicz became the smallest town in the country to host an LGBTQ+ equality march.

“History is happening here, so remember this day,” said Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk, a Member of the Sejm.

That same month, around 7,500 people participated in Gdańsk’s seventh annual equality March. While waving Pride flags, LGBTQ+ advocates shouted the event’s slogan, “We have the power.”

Lastly, Warsaw and Ukraine’s KyivPride held a joint Pride parade – similarly to Katowice’s collaborative march with Odesa.

“For us, in the Equality Parade, community means standing in defence of others,” said Warsaw Pride organisers. “Community means marching arm in arm for the safety and freedom of those who have had it taken away. We are proud to join Kyiv in their march for Ukraine’s Victory.”

Over the last few years, the queer community has faced massive pushback from Poland’s conservative government and its anti-LGBTQ+ supporters.

Back in 2019, numerous towns and regions made a pledge to oppose “LGBT ideology”, which they said undermined the country’s ‘traditional’ Christian values.

The “LGBT-Free” zones were swiftly denounced by EU leaders, who passed a resolution that declared all countries in the Union a “freedom zone” for LGBTQ+ people.

Check out more photos from the aforementioned Pride parades below.