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How are lesbians seen in Poland (more info inside)?


exiledfirejinx 1 | -
24 Oct 2012 #1
I am a lesbian who was born in Poland but moved with my parents and siblings to the US when I was 10. Since I came out to my parents their Catholic selves eventually accepted me through the years but they continued to tell me to stay in the closet from my family in Poland. I've spent all my summers in Poland (2 months) until after I graduated college and have been to visit there. As I was there I searched for the gay and lesbian culture but didn't quite know where to look and I wasn't about to ask my family so I always pretended to be straight. So, I am finally 29, living with my life partner of 3 years and we want to adopt (we live in Seattle which is very liberal and allows civil unions). I want to take her to see my country of birth and to finally come out to my family.

I read the news and know Poland isn't too gay friendly (coming out to my parents as a teen was a great example of that) but most news stories are also regarding gay men. I just wanted to get the perspective of Polish people since I can't talk to any of my family about this (my parents still think coming out in Poland is a bad idea).

How are lesbians treated there? When we visit, should we just pretend to be friends or could we walk down the streets holding hands (we'd be visiting Warszawa and Gdansk mostly)? I speak fluent Polish but have an accent (19 years in the US will do that to you) but my partner is American so I know we will be seen as American tourists first (which will be weird for me because I've never spoken English in Poland before). But how would lesbian tourists be perceived? Could we rent a hotel room together with one bed without a problem? And how do you think my family would respond, especially since I've pretty much hidden this part of myself for my entire life? I am so nervous planning this trip to Poland with my partner in the spring and any input would be appreciated.

Dziękuję bardzo!
jon357 63 | 15,595
24 Oct 2012 #2
You won't have any problem with a hotel in Warsaw, and as the capital it's fairly cosmopolitan. There are also bars, at least one of which is women only. I sometimes walk down the street hand-in-hand with my partner and the only rare adverse reaction has been off the same type of chav who would yell anywhere but isn't actually brave enough to do anything.
Harry
24 Oct 2012 #3
In Warsaw and Gdansk you'll be just fine.

And how do you think my family would respond, especially since I've pretty much hidden this part of myself for my entire life?

Now that is harder to judge. Why not just introduce your partner to them and don't qualify or explain the relationship at all? Kind of "Uncle Jan, Auntie Gosia, this is Anna. Anna this is my uncle and my aunt." type deal.
Tessi - | 2
22 Apr 2015 #4
Merged: How safe is Poland for ladies? What about prejudice against lesbians?

I'm considering moving to Poland for working reasons and I am trying to find out what it is like to be a lesbian there. My partner and I are very feminine so people just do not guess we are lesbians but on the other hand we are very open about our homosexuality and it has never caused us any problem in our country which is very open minded to the subject. I just do not want to have to go to the closed (which I probably wouldn't do) in other to be able to live in Poland.

What about safety for women in general? More specifically in big cities like Krakow, Warsaw etc.
Thank you.
Wulkan - | 3,251
22 Apr 2015 #5
There is no such a thing like corrective rape in Poland like they do in Africa to lesbian women, you should be very safe in Poland especially in the big cities you won't even get noticed.
johnny reb 28 | 5,073
22 Apr 2015 #6
What about safety for women in general?

What kind of safety are you concerned about ?
Those big stinky sweaty Polish men after work that fart and burp after a beer will have no interest in your kind.
They are looking for women that meet their needs.

you won't even get noticed.

jon357 63 | 15,595
22 Apr 2015 #7
In Warsaw you'll have no problems; it isn't an issue and there's a large and long-standing lgbt community. Kraków is more provincial but worth mentioning that it's a large university city and not unsophisticated. The difference between the capital and the countryside is larger in PL than you are probably used to, however a lesbian couple are so far outside most people's experience there that it's something they've just never thought of.

Poland has recently elected an openly gay city president (who is incredibly popular), there's a member of parliament who's a transwoman and the womens' movement is long established.

My partner and I have had very few problems over the years and none of them serious. You shouldn't worry.
johnny reb 28 | 5,073
22 Apr 2015 #8
What about prejudice against lesbians?

Well you know Poland is a prodominately Catholic country which are bible believers.
The bible states clearly that homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of heaven so most likely
the Polish people will be praying for your lost soul and feeling sorrow for you.
Harry
22 Apr 2015 #9
I just do not want to have to go to the closed (which I probably wouldn't do) in other to be able to live in Poland.

You won't, don't worry about it.

What about safety for women in general? More specifically in big cities like Krakow, Warsaw etc.

You're most probably safer here in Warsaw than you are in pretty much any big city in western Europe or North America.
jon357 63 | 15,595
22 Apr 2015 #10
You're most probably safer here in Warsaw than you are in pretty much any big city in western Europe or North

I think so too. Crime rates (regarding womens' safety) are low and the people generally well mannered.

The bible states clearly that homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of heaven so most likely
the Polish people will be praying for your lost soul and feeling sorrow for you.

Most don't attend Church regularly or read religious texts - especially in cities - and in any case, people in PL (in Warsaw/Kraków anyway) are generally too classy to be openly judgemental about other people's personal lives. It isn't Alabama.
Tessi - | 2
23 Apr 2015 #11
Thank you all for your replies!
Very helpful :)


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