“Queer people are everywhere and they do try to make a difference. But it’s a path full of struggles and a lot of sacrifices.”
What are the chances that you are taking by leaving or staying there?
I’m planning on moving. Even though now I spend most of the time in the country, in the past I was traveling a lot. I’m not attached. But I think there is a chance for change here. The ballroom is growing, there are a lot of queer initiatives. Queer people are everywhere and they do try to make a difference. But it’s a path full of struggles and a lot of sacrifices.
Meanwhile it’s getting more and more difficult to find people here who are wiling to take part in the erotic projects I’m working on. Polish society is very strict and this strictness got into gay culture too. I feel like in Poland, gay people are so used to exist in the shadows that some of them don’t even want to step out to the light anymore. It’s cool to be on Grindr, it’s cool to have an orgy behind closed doors, but taking naked pictures and having them published is somehow shameful since they’re there for everyone to see.
I don’t want to become a martyr, staying here and fighting for something that people maybe in many years can enjoy. I moved away from my hometown to Warsaw, because it started to be suffocating for me. Here I can already breathe more freely, but I still aim for something bigger.
What does being visible mean to you?
This is something that brings a lot of emotion. Encouragement, pride, but also a lot of frustration, disappointment and anger. Here, people are still staring at you or talking behind your back if you look any different than the norm. If you walk the streets of the center of Warsaw maybe nothing bad will happen to you, but you can still feel like an animal in the Zoo sometimes. But doing the same in smaller cities can be simply dangerous.
How do you imagine the normalization of queerness in mainstream society?
I think it’s happening already for quite some time now. In my work, I want people to give me a true idea of who they are. Does it bring change? I don’t know. I’m just doing my thing, but I have no idea if it influences anyone. If it does, I hope it helps gay people, queer people to be braver, to be more open, to be true to themselves no matter what.
What is the single best piece of advice that you‘d give to a queer person living in a not-so-liberal environment?
The advice that I’d give is fairly simple. Find your people or let them find you, recognize your friends and keep them close to you. Those are the ones with whom you can exchange experiences and feel that you’re not alone. But if you don’t want to struggle, then don’t push it. You don’t have to suffer for a place, a country that is bringing you pain. Just pack your things and go.