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As a black gay man (US) visiting Warsaw this summer, will I get beat up for nothing?


Firesun 1 | 8
31 Mar 2011 #1
Greetings All,

I don't know if this is the right place to post this but I've been online trying to find answers to some of my questions and hopefully here, someone can help me out.

This summer '11, I'm planning another holiday and after visiting London/Rome/Paris etc... so many times, I thought I'd switch it up a bit a visit a country that I've always been very interested in and that's Poland. I'm going to several places: Istanbul and Berlin however in each of those cities, I'll have friends there who're locals and can show me around. For the Poland leg of my trip, I will be alone but every time I mention to someone that I want to visit Poland, I'm flooded with every reason not to and it all goes back to either racism or homophobia or both. A little about me: I'm 36 years old from Harlem NY. I'm 6'2, 235lb ex collegiate football player. I'm a big guy but I'm not intimidating (I don't think (lol) and when people meet me for the first time, after the first two minutes the first thing they say is "you're nothing but a big ole teddy bear." I'm educated, successful and have worked hard to carve out a very nice life for myself. I'm always looking to do different things and have ALWAYS had this "thing" with Poland...even my last two boyfriends here in NYC were Polish. I have no idea how that happened, it just did. I'm giving you all of this information for you to have a frame of reference of where I'm coming from.

Ok, let's get to it.

If I'm walking around Warsaw and I don't know the language and I don't know where I'm going, am I going to be harassed/robbed? If I walk in or out of a gay bar, will I be harassed/robbed? Moreover, will I get the feeling that i'm not wanted in the country for whatever reason? That's actually my biggest fear. I can take care of myself psychically but I don't want to feel like some freak or alien by simply walking around trying to enjoy my holiday in a different country. I can go anywhere in the world and I want to go to Poland. I've been blessed to have lived and have traveled all over the world and I can honestly say, I've never experienced any negativity like that. I firmly believe the energy you put out is the energy you get in return so I'm not holding this country to a different standard of any other place, I simply just don't know. My buddies who're all over: Germany, Norway, UK, Luxembourg, France, Spain, Australia, Brazil and all of my Euro friends and co-workers here tell me: "don't go there, they beat blacks and gays and they'll take your ipad and rob you and **** blah blah blah" and they're all European so I would think they would know more than me. Now listen, i'm not naive and I know there are rotten apples wherever you go and I know there are places where being black or gay may not be the best place to be (In the South of my own Country) but overall I just want to know, will I be safe in Poland/Warsaw?
delphiandomine 88 | 18,322
31 Mar 2011 #2
but overall I just want to know, will I be safe in Poland/Warsaw?

Yes. Use the same common sense you'd use elsewhere and you'll find that Warsaw is no different to anywhere else.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,161
31 Mar 2011 #3
will I be safe in Poland/Warsaw?

Yes or no.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
31 Mar 2011 #4
I totally don't see why you wouldn't be as safe as anywhere else in the world. Of course, if you choose to be in the wrong neighbourhood at the wrong time, you might find yourself in trouble, but the same holds true for anybody, white, brown, black, gay or straight.

In smaller towns or villages, people will obviously look you over - but if you were white and visited a small village in Africa or Asia, people might stare too. As long as you don't deliberately read racism or homophobia into the actions of others, I think you will be absolutely fine. Polish people tend to be neutral / indifferent at first contact and this does not mean hostility. They just do their thing and expect you to do yours without bothering them. Am I making sense to you?
OP Firesun 1 | 8
31 Mar 2011 #5
Thanks Magdalena. You make perfect sense. I can handle stares...I mean, I look good, I want you to stare. lol You're right, its like every other place. Since I'm so foreign to it and didn't know anyone like me who has visited, I simply didn't know. I appreciate your time and words.
enkidu 7 | 623
31 Mar 2011 #6
"As a black gay man (US) visiting Warsaw this summer, will I get beat up for nothing?"

Of course you wouldn't get beat up for nothing.
What do you think? That we are savages or something?
Attacking people for no reason is not part of our culture!
We don't beat up people without a good reason.

I your case - you will be beaten up for being black, American, gay man. That's definitely not "nothing" as you kindly described it.

:-P

Seriously though. It may be shock for you but there are Americans living in Poland. And gays. And black people. If you would look for hard enough you may even find a black American gay living in Poland in perfect harmony. :-) You're not so special.

If you are "openly gay" - I mean if you are one of these gays walking the street and screaming "Look how wonderfully gay I am!" (kind of Bruno character.) - you probably would be ridiculed and ignored in a cold Polish way. That's it.

You may even be mugged or attacked - you know - in the usual way like in every other city in the world. Just try not to be "in the wrong place and in the wrong time" if you know what I mean.

Calm down, be happy and good luck with your holidays in Poland. :)
OP Firesun 1 | 8
31 Mar 2011 #7
HAHAHAHAHA!! I Love it Enkidu!! Thanks!!
Misia - | 31
31 Mar 2011 #8
I don't think you'd be attacked for being black or gay but don't flash expensive stuff since that might get you into a sticky situation. I had a Polish friend who was once attacked on the street, late at night, because he had a new phone... :-| a Motorola.

That happens everywhere though, I remember being told not to use my iPhone headphones when it first came out (as well as iPod headphones in the past) because many people were robbed in the US, UK, and Canada - at least those are the 3 countries I know it happened in.

I always wondered this, does Poland have any gay bars? :-P
chichimera 1 | 186
31 Mar 2011 #9
I always wondered this, does Poland have any gay bars? :-P

It does. Seriously :)
Misia - | 31
31 Mar 2011 #10
Cool, thanks. :-)
PennBoy 76 | 2,436
31 Mar 2011 #11
Warsaw

Maybe Poznan? since it has a much larger gay community 45 thousand about 8% of the population.
isthatu2 4 | 2,702
31 Mar 2011 #12
I'm 6'2, 235lb ex collegiate football player

mmm,sure that will impress the Ukrainina man mountains....not. Whats Ukrainian for skinny short arse?

and lols,yes, the Black and gay bit ,fine,no worries,but hey,to be safe, a nice canadian flag on your T shirt......:)
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
31 Mar 2011 #13
Maybe Poznan? since it has a much larger gay community 45 thousand about 8% of the population.

It doesn't have the bars etc - just a couple worth going to, and it's many times smaller than Warsaw which is well worth a visit and very safe.
OP Firesun 1 | 8
31 Mar 2011 #14
Isthatu2
"mmm,sure that will impress the Ukrainina man mountains....not. Whats Ukrainian for skinny short arse?"

I have no idea what this means?

Thanks Pennboy, JonnyM and Chichimera
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
31 Mar 2011 #15
I have no idea what this means?

If it makes you feel any better, I have no idea what this was supposed to mean either ;-)
Sandman 3 | 28
31 Mar 2011 #16
As a black gay man will I get beat up

These days, if you're black and gay in Warsaw you're more likely to end up on the City Council rather than beat up

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krystian_Legierski
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
31 Mar 2011 #17
if you're black and gay in Warsaw you're more likely to end up on the City Council

Why not? Krystian does a lot for the community and is a huge asset to the rada gminy. Even if he wasn't, why should his colour or sexuality merit a pointless mention on a forum?

Seriously, @Firesun, you shouldn't worry too much about personal safety in Warsaw - it's a safe city, and cosmopolitan enough that there are plenty of gay people and even a few black ones who are visible and unhassled. Have a nice visit!
Sandman 3 | 28
31 Mar 2011 #18
Why not?

Take an aspirin and chill down, bro. You're seeing negativity in the post that isn't there. The point of the post is that Poland has moved on, not that Krystian shouldn't be a councilman.

why should his colour or sexuality merit a pointless mention

Because Krystian is black, gay and in Poland and the poster asked what happens to black, gay men in Poland. Did you read the title of this thread?
isthatu2 4 | 2,702
31 Mar 2011 #19
I have no idea what this means?

Sport scholarship then.......simple,you seem to think you will be some big man in Poland just because you are 6.2 and a bit fat......trust me fella,you wont be.
enkidu 7 | 623
31 Mar 2011 #20
Because Krystian is black, gay and in Poland and the poster asked what happens to black, gay men in Poland. Did you read the title of this thread?

Let's compare Krystian to OP:
I he an American? Nope.
Is he black? Well... Sort of black. Not really.
Is he gay? As hell.

Only 1 of 3 requirements for being beat up for no reason are met.
Therefore I declare this argument invalid.

BTW. It makes me think about a certain profile that would ensure the beating in Poland.
My proposition: Black-Jewish, openly gay, wearing Nazi helmet in public and sreaming "Jan PaweĊ‚ drugi - chuj!".
Yep. That would do.
OP Firesun 1 | 8
31 Mar 2011 #21
Sport scholarship then.......simple,you seem to think you will be some big man in Poland just because you are 6.2 and a bit fat......trust me fella,you wont be.

Who said I "seem to think" anything? I never mentioned/spoke of or made any reference that I am or will be some big bad ass coming to Poland. I simply gave my stats for you, the reader to get a complete picture of me because let's face it, being a big guy, you stick out more. If a guy was 5'9 and 145lbs, his experience would be completely different than mine. READ what I'm saying instead of READING INTO what you think I'm saying. Oh and your comment about being a "bit fat"....there's nothing on my that's fat. Oh, well maybe there's one thing but I'll let you figure that one out since apparently you think you know everything, fella.
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
31 Mar 2011 #22
what happens to black, gay men in Poland

They have fun!! Seriosly, Warsaw is a very relaxed place nowadays.
Midas 1 | 571
31 Mar 2011 #23
Hey,

1) Unless You got "I'm gay" written in white ink on Your forehead or strut around in a pink catsuit with a handbag most people won't notice You are gay and it won't be a factor.

2) Poland wasn't really that great for dark skinned people in the 1990's, although not as bad as Russia. Things have improved by leaps and bounds since, now it is pretty much like any other European country. So apply the usual rule of the thumb - the poorer the neighbourhood, the bigger Your chance of someone ( often a group of young thugs ) having a problem with Your skin color.

Downtown Warsaw - You'll be fine.

Oh yeah, with the above in mind, I'd avoid the vicinity of Legia's £azienkowska stadium during game days.
Wroclaw Boy
31 Mar 2011 #24
If Jarnowa was gay i think this thread would really p1ss him off.
Ice cold - | 43
31 Mar 2011 #25
Dude, you're a 6'2, 235lb ex-Football player! Black, white, or green. Who in their right mind would F with you?

Polish people are cool and mind their own business, nothing to worry about.

It's the drunk soccer hooligans on holiday, ( who always seem to travel in packs ) that you might encounter at 3am, that could be a problem...but that can happen in any city and to anyone.
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
31 Mar 2011 #26
If Jarnowa was gay

One we don't want.

strut around

a pink catsuit with a handbag

Have you seen many gay people "strutting around" dressed like that? Where do you live; by the stage door of a Bangkok cabaret bar?

Really, nobody in Warsaw would particularly bat an eyelid - it isn't some churchgoing village.
Midas 1 | 571
31 Mar 2011 #27
Have you seen many gay people "strutting around" dressed like that? Where do you live; by the stage door of a Bangkok cabaret bar?

I was being ironic ( hence the hyperbole ), unfortunately your lack of brainpower prevented you from noticing :-)
PennBoy 76 | 2,436
31 Mar 2011 #28
Dude, you're a 6'2, 235lb ex-Football player!

Who in their right mind would F with you?

There's always little pussies who think they're bad in a group. By themselves they shake like a Christmas tree.
OP Firesun 1 | 8
31 Mar 2011 #29
LOL! Thanks Midas. I don't fit any of the stereotypes of what people think a gay person is supposed to be. I'm a man first and foremost and carry myself as one. I guess I only brought up the gay thing is if I'm going to a gay bar or trying to find a gay bar, would that illicit harassment.

A couple of years ago I was in Aruba for my best friends wedding and all of the guys (straight) went out to the trendy/hot bar on the strip. It was packed and everyone was having a good time but I had heard that there was also a gay bar somewhere in the area. So I asked one of the hot girl bartenders if she knew where such and such bar was. She looked at me and with a straight face said, "oh no, you don't want to go there, that's a gay bar". I said I know, is it around here someplace? She calls over another girl and they both are telling me 'oh no, you don't want to go there, that's a gay bar". I'm like "I KNOW IT IS, I'M GAY AND I WANT TO GO...WHERE IS IT?" The look on their faces was priceless. LOL!! All of us died with laughter. They couldn't wrap their heads around it as apparently their perception of what a gay man is supposed to be, wasn't me. (I still laugh at that one) Not only did they give me the address but all of the girls came to the bar after their shift and we partied until the sun came up.
David_18 68 | 982
31 Mar 2011 #30
Not only did they give me the address but all of the girls came to the bar after their shift and we partied until the sun came up.

Are you some kinda pu88y magnet?

Wanna to be my friend? :D


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