by Leander Milbrecht
Homophobic escalation in the EU country Poland: a condom manufacturer shows a gay couple in a commercial. The kiss immediately arouses broad and public anti-hommo hatred. Poland’s president Andrzej Duda finds queer activism even worse than communism.
The new advertisement of a condom manufacturer in Poland shows not only three heterosexual couples but also a gay one – for diversity, visibility and against exclusion. The equivalent arrangement of the scenes should represent that love is love and that everyone has a right to a healthy and balanced sex life. Unfortunately: A TV station is already boycotting the commercial.
The two men, who shave together and (almost) exchange a tender kiss in the bathroom in the advertisement, are no strangers in Poland: It is the two YouTube stars Jakub and Dawid, who, like the other ad-performers, are a couple in real life. The two of them act as ambassadors for the queer community and as queer activists. Recently, they had pictures taken as a wedding couple (we have reported) or distributed rainbow masks in “LGBT-free zones” in southern Poland to open a dialogue (we have reported).
Gays in commercial ads: What in other countries is either no longer anything special or even leads to the accusation of ‘pinkwashing’, is in this case certainly politically relevant. Since last year, a war has been waged against the queer community in Poland, led by the right-wing national governing party PiS and arch-conservative groups.
It is therefore important to take a stand up, increase visibility and make clear to the general public: There are also other points of view and critical opinions about the anti-queer politics that have deeply divided the country. The advertisement is broadcast not only in Poland, but also in Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In these countries, too, the queer communities do not have an easy standing.
An almost-kiss that allegedly endangeres young people
The Polish channel TVP has already refused to broadcast the advertisement, so it can only be seen in full on TVN and Polsat. TVP’s managers cited Article 18 of the Broadcasting Law regarding scenes or content that “may have a negative impact on the correct physical, mental or moral development of minors” – such broadcasts are to be broadcast only from 11 pm to 6 am. In this case, only almost kisses can be seen in the advertisement.
Queer activist Jakub Kwiecinski (38) worked as a producer for the station himself until 2017 – when he was let go by his bosses after uploading a video on YouTube in which he appeared together with his partner Dawid Mycek (35). For them, the channel’s decision is therefore no surprise. Dawid (35 ) explained to Reuters TV:
“When we learned of the ban, we were really not surprised… We can see that Polish television is becoming a mouthpiece for the government.
Jakub added that he is worried about the future – about how far the hatred against minorities in Poland will go:
“You worry about what’s gonna happen next. First they remove you from the advertisement – then they will say that all LGBT plots from movies and series must also be removed”.
The situation is escalating and there doesn’t seem to be any improvement in sight.
President: Queer rights more destructive than communism
Poland’s President Andrzej Duda openly incited against the queer movement during an election campaign appearance in Brzeg on Saturday. He described their tireless efforts for the rights of queer people as an “ideology more destructive than communism”. It is a form of “neo-Bolshevism”, which is supposed to sexualise children, said Duda.
- JakubDawid: Screenshot YouTube
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