Thursday, March 7, 2013

From Pole to Pole

Last week Poland’s Lech Walesa, hero of the Solidarity movement, Nobel Peace Prize winner and former Polish president, told a reporter that perhaps gays should sit at the rear of parliament or even “behind a wall.”

The man who helped tear down the Iron Curtain is now talking about building walls.  Nice.

The devout Catholic’s words caused an uproar in Poland, but Walesa said this week he won’t apologize.  Yesterday Poland’s first gay lawmaker, Robert Biedron, and first transgender lawmaker, Anna Grodzka, protested Walesa’s comments by sitting on the front bench of the Polish parliament’s lower house.

They protested with their posteriors.

I was thinking about Poland’s well-known homophobia yesterday when I read a story in The Seattle Times that included a mention of Margo Dydek, the late Polish basketball player.  When Dydek played for the WNBA’s Salt Lake City franchise, she attended Pride in that city.

She wasn’t a lesbian.  She just wanted to show her support.  Standing 7 feet 2 inches tall, she showed a heck of a lot of support.

She stood tall—very tall—for gay rights, while Walesa’s stature is shrinking.  The two are Poles apart.