"Look who was in the closet with you": comparative experiences of queers and Jews in the contemporary Poland

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Czarnecki, Gregory E.
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The recent rise of queer visibility and the movement for gay rights in Poland has meant a concurrent rise in overt homophobia. This study looks at historical forms of antisemitism that were particularly prevalent in 1930’s Poland and compares them with the homophobia which is targeted at queers today. By examining interviews of young people who discover their Jewish heritage later in life, so called hidden Jews, this research shows that the structures of antisemitism and homophobia have resulted in similar lived experiences for Jews and queers as both groups are often relegated to a life in the closet. This is true even though those Jews interviewed expressed a relative ease in coming out in comparison to many hidden Jews in past decades. The thesis concludes by proving that both the Jewish and queer communities are fighting against hate speech in an effort to create a safe space in Poland. Many of the legal battles against hate speech display a continued antisemitism and homophobia amongst the legal profession indicating a need for awareness-raising efforts
Second semester University: University of Gyor, Hungary.