Currently in Poland, due to homophobic government policies, it is not possible to advocate for LGBT+ people at a central level. According to surveys conducted in 2021 by the IPSOS company and the Centre for Public Opinion Research, public support for LGBT+ rights ranges from 34% to 56% depending on the survey methodology. Therefore, actions aimed at increasing support for LGBT+ people in Polish society are possible. Taking action in support of LGBT+ people in Poland outside of large centres – in towns with fewer than 200,000 inhabitants and in villages where around 80% of Poles live – is key to bringing about a lasting change in thinking and acceptance of LGBT+ rights. Actions on a larger scale can be carried out primarily by people belonging to and involved in their local communities. It is difficult for LGBT+ people themselves to speak openly about themselves in a small community and to conduct self-advocacy.
Therefore, in this project, we place particular emphasis on engaging allied people who are more easily able to address this issue in local communities. As part of the project, we are running a 4-month education and development programme for 16 LGBT+ people and their potential allies in towns of up to 200,000 inhabitants. We are funding their activities to undertake in the local community. At the end, there will be an additional meeting to discuss the results of the activities undertaken, the changes achieved, an evaluation of the programme, as well as additional workshops to support the sustainability of the activities implemented. The aim of the project is to bring about a change for the perception of LGBT+ people in local communities through participatory engagement, education, advocacy and community activities. In doing so, we aim to protect the safety of LGBT+ people, as well as to develop supportive and welcoming attitudes towards LGBT+ people in the communities.