I don’t see a future being gay in this country: A non-legally binding charter and its consequences for queer women in Poland.

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för globala studier

Author: Annie Magnusson; [2021-10-14]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: LGBTQ rights are under attack in Europe. Poland is one of its most homophobic countries and many municipalities have announced themselves ‘LGBT-free zones’ by adopting the Family Charter (henceforth the Charter), which is a policy document of a homophobic organization. This thesis examines the hostile environment towards queer women in Poland and the ideologies that inform it. It also examines how queer women experience societal changes that stem from the introduction of LGBT-free zones and what resistance strategies they use against homophobia and transphobia. Previous studies describe the homophobic rhetoric used by the Catholic Church and the Polish government and the intertwined relationship between those institutions. Previous studies also contextualize the topic within European LGBTQ resistance. Ideology analysis of the Charter is used to explore the underlying ideologies behind the societal hostility. Five semi-structured interviews with queer women in Poland were conducted. The interview data is analyzed using content categorizing, while feminist, queer, and resistance theory is used to analyze the data. The thesis concludes the Charter’s reestablishment of heterosexual marriage as the sole foundation for society, which constructs LGBTQ people as deviant. The Charter affects the lives of queer women by inciting public hostility towards them and constructing them as the ‘other’, a threat to heterosexual families and children. Their human rights and liberties are restricted as they are discriminated against for their sexual orientation. The interviewees practice resistance against the oppressive power, which often makes them more vulnerable to hate crimes but also unites the community. Ultimately, the hostility results in their situation being unsustainable and leads to many of them planning to move abroad.

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