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A group of friends and I intend to visit Warsaw and its surroundings next year. We are members of the LGBT community.
Seeing the scale of the 11/11/17 far-right manifestations makes me a little nervous.

Is Poland, and Warsaw in particular, gay-friendly?
If not-so-much, is there any advice we should follow?


EDIT :

I'm interested in advices on how to avoid problems, specific to Poland.

For exemple : if there are neighborhoods to avoid, if there is a sure way to check if a bar is gay-friendly, if we should avoid holding hands in public only in smaller towns or also in Warsaw, or if we should even avoid letting our AirBnb hosts see that members of our group are couples.

(I'm not used to travel abroad so the answers to this question may be obvious to other users here.)

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    I don't know enough about LGBT community to post a full answer, but generally you shouldn't be openly gay (walk holding hands with another man, certainly not kiss in public) in Poland - most of the people wouldn't mind, but there are some who might be hostile. There are some gay parties there and cafes known to attract gay folk nowadays, and the situation is getting better for sure, but in the open I would be cautious. Don't worry too much about 11/11/17 events, it's like this pretty much every year, other days are much calmer. – Kuba Nov 14 '17 at 15:13
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    @Johns-305 re "There is nothing anti-LGBT about it" - yet somehow in 2013 march rainbow installation (that was associated with LGBT movement) on Plac Zbawiciela was set on fire. To clarify, Nov 11 is Independence Day and celebrates regaining independence, so that's nothing about pro- or anti-LGBT. Events are held to celebrate that event. However, the biggest event - Marsz Niepodległości - happens to be organized by people with anti-LGBT attitude, and homophobic banners are not entirely uncommon on that march. – el.pescado Nov 17 '17 at 18:42
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    @Johns You are mistaken I'm afraid. Poland is far more conservative and the Catholic church has much more influence compared to Czechia and Croatia. Actually, I think Poland is the most conservative of them all (having travelled most East European countries). – RHA Nov 18 '17 at 22:41
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    @Johns How do you know if you haven't been to Poland?! You state cultural norms between Poland and Croatia/Czechia do not differ. They do. Dangerous? Dunno. Sadly enough even Amsterdam can be dangerous – RHA Nov 19 '17 at 13:49
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    @Johns-305 cultural norms are not dissimilar but there are differences. Homosexuality acceptance in Czechia is over 80% whereas in Poland is in low 40%, amongst the lowest in EU. Having lived here for some thirty years, I have never seen gay couple holding hands in the streets, though I might simply not notice, I am not particularly interested in that topic. – el.pescado Nov 20 '17 at 10:34
1

I have two close Polish friends, who are homosexual. They live together for many years now, in a small-ish city. (Far smaller than Warsaw or Cracow) Form what they told me, the biggest problem with their orientation was some old ladies telling them about the "hell which await them for they are sinning".

Now, the question "should you be careful" is obviously biased - you should be careful everywhere, and every country has it's quirks - so there are certainly places where you can easily get in trouble, but that's universal - as a white man I was told to be careful in particular parts of NYC or Los Angeles.

From my own experiences in Poland, nobody ever asked me my or my friends sexual orientation and I believe that nobody really cares. Is the "Poland, and Warsaw in particular, gay-friendly?" - Depends on the perception of friendliness, but I would say yes. There are places targeted towards such people operating for years. Whatever you read in the media, they don't get bombed or burned every week. You have to remember, and I believe a lot of people forget about, that, in general, Eastern-Europeans are rather not outgoing and cheerful people (outside), the cultural difference if you will. So you can't expect people cheering by the fact that somebody is homosexual, but that's not a display of hostility. Indifference is, let's say, default.

To sum up - if you want troubles, you will find them, but that's universal. Otherwise nobody will really care about your or your friends sexual preferences, unless you will try really hard to manifest it. But again, it's cultural, extensive display of any form of believes or preferences generally is frowned upon.

A final advice "on how to avoid problems, specific to Poland." - understand, that Polish (and most neighbours countries') culture is much less open and conversational in public than, let's say American one. Public display of preferences, orientations and pretty much anything else is seen as invasive and confrontational. I wouldn't say that sexual orientation is more "engaging" in such case than politics, football clubs, religion or some other topics.

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Some of the info I briefly read about how Poland feels about homosexuality illustrated precisely how important it is to know the laws. An article dated Sept. 7, 2017 which is pretty recent, "Homosexuals Face Discrimination in Poland," includes:

Since the conservative Law & Justice Party came to power in Poland, hostility toward homosexuals has been growing.

As grim as that sounds, the info on a Wikipedia page about the subject would be encouraging to a homosexual individual seeking to visit Poland.

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    Hi, thank you for taking the time to do a google search and write this answer. I saw a lot of information online, but would prefer an answer by someone who knows the country (at least Warsaw), and could give me a more concrete idea of what we should and shouldn't do while we are there, preferably with some practical advices. – GreenOwl Dec 7 '17 at 12:37
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    You don't have enough reputation to comment yet. Once you'll do, you won't have to write an answer to tell people to use Google. You can check out the tour to learn more on the difference between comments and answers. – GreenOwl Dec 7 '17 at 12:42
  • I don't see what this has to do with the question. How does knowing the law help? Homosexual relationships are legal in Poland. The question is asking about people's attitudes and reactions. – David Richerby Jun 15 '18 at 18:26

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