Jakub Kwiecinski and Dawid Mycek are back at it again with representation and visibility. This time, they’re in the Vatican!
Jakub Kwiecinski and Dawid Mycek are a Polish gay couple who have made a career out of creating visibility for same-sex couples and LGBTQ life. After spending nine years as a tv presenter on the national tv network TVP, Jakub was fired for being gay. In defiance of that, Jakub and his later-to-be-husband Dawid created a YouTube channel to get their voices out into the world. Since then, the two have created viral lip sync videos, appeared on LGBTQ award shows, staged proposals nation wide, shared free face masks, appeared in commercials, and more.
Now, the two have taken their message outside of Poland and to the Christian capital. Specifically, Jakub and Dawid traveled to Vatican City. There, they sought out Pope Francis for guidance and support of Poland’s LGBTQ community. To do that, the couple stood in front of the Holy See and raised a rainbow flag that said, “HELP.”
“We were amazed how many Catholics from different countries approached us with words of support,” they wrote on Instagram. “Nobody felt offended by the rainbow, the police did not chase us out, and when we were alone in the square an hour longer, one of the priests came to us, offered water and listened to what we had to say. Because the rainbow does not offend.”
The married couple traveled to the Vatican to get attention to the current anti-gay conflict in Poland. Poland has experienced several protests in the past few weeks over anti-LGBTQ attitudes promoted by the government and religious officials, according to the Associated Press.
As AP reports:
“The protests come amid an intensifying standoff in Poland between the LGBT rights movement and the conservative government, which has declared it an alien, dangerous “ideology.” President Andrzej Duda, who was sworn in for a second term Thursday, won re-election on a strong anti-LGBT platform, and social tensions have been rising.”
“Some critics accuse the government of stoking tensions in order to channel attention and anger away from what they say are plans to further erode the rule of law under the populist governing party. Last week the Justice Ministry said it is preparing legislation that would require non-governmental groups to declare any foreign funding sources, echoing laws passed in Russia and Hungary that critics say are meant to hamstring groups critical of authorities.”
In response, to this growing turmoil, Jakub and Dawid turned toward Pope Francis for guidance and support.
“The Polish bishops call us pedophiles, they say that we are a disease and even that the COVID-19 is a global punishment for LGBT+ sins,” the couple told Gay Nation.
“We realized that what the Polish church is doing in our country is contrary to the teaching of Pope Francis,” Kwiecinski and Mycek added. “We decided to go and draw his attention to the fact that the Polish bishops are fueling hatred towards us and we really hope that he will take action. If we were the bosses of a company, we would react by seeing our employee do something against our order. This is exactly what we expect from the Pope. Especially since the government in place regularly justifies its conservative policy by religion.”
Pope Francis has notably been inconsistent in his stance on LGBTQ people. While the pope once said that “no gay men allowed” in the clergy and that same-sex couples aren’t families, he’s more recently asked parents not to condemn gay children and stated that anti-gay rhetoric is equivalent to Nazi propaganda. With this confusing set of statements, it’s hard to get a gauge on whether Pope Francis would speak out against the anti-LGBTQ rhetoric spreading in Poland.
While we’re unsure whether their acts are being heard and acted on, we’re glad to see that Jakub Kwiecinski and Dawid Mycek are out supporting LGBTQ people in this time of need.