Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Equality in the stands 2

A few weeks ago we published this blog post. We subsequently received this reply from Tęczowa Trybuna and have, at their request printed it in full. All comments are welcome.

Dear Justin Campaign,

We read the entry on your blog and would like to explain ourselves. There is no doubt that the decision we made is hard, but we find it to be a proper measure to avoid harassment and aggression against homosexual supporters during European Championship, that would be hosted by Poland and Ukraine, in 2012.

As you know, conditions which homosexuals in Poland have to deal with aren’t easy, the best example could probably be the initiative of LGBT activists to introduce civil unions in Poland, the initiative that is being slowed down by the representatives of the government and as for the moment isn’t likely to be introduced to the parliament. Thus, as we decided, calling for raising the awareness about homophobia in football and launching campaigns so that we all could enjoy the game in safety, both gay and straight, would do no good, because – sincerely – hardly anybody among Polish officials cares.

Searching for solution of our problems, we thought of the stands that are on Camp Nou or the stadium of AC Milan, where the members of gay fanclubs can feel safe and focus on the game, rather than uneasily look around just in case there was someone who would prefer them beaten up (and that’s what happened to some of the members of Teczowa Trybuna 2012).

In Poland we met with disapprovement, not only from the side of other supporters, but even Polish gays and lesbians considered our idea nothing more but ghettoization. But none of them even thought that creating separate stands for disabled people (rather than enabling them to access all the
places) or VIP stand to divide the society, although it is division due to criteria of physical abilities or wealth. If we are all there just to watch the game, why shouldn’t we be there all together? If it truly doesn’t matter, who you are, and just which team do you support, why shouldn't we all be in one place?

What we care about is safety. We are threatened right now, and we want to watch the games of European Championship that would be co-hosted by our country in safety. We know what’s the situation of gay supporters and we know that Polish Football Association (PZPN) is doing nothing to improve it.
And we want homosexual people – both Polish and from abroad, that will come to watch the games in 2012 – to be able to watch the games in safety.

That’s what we believe Rainbow Stands could increase. We ask you for support us!

Best regards,
Tęczowa Trybuna 2012

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