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Gay couple in Poland take on LGBT+ Free Zones with rainbow face masks

Gay couple in Poland take on LGBT+ Free Zones with rainbow face masks

  • ‘The rainbow does not infect but can protect people from a real threat.’
Handing out the rainbow masks in the 'Tri-city' of Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sopot.

A gay couple in Poland have found a unique way to spread the LGBT+ rainbow and help protect people from coronavirus.

Married YouTubers Jakub and Dawid Mycek-Kwiecinski handed out hundreds of rainbow face masks on the streets.

It comes as Poland considers a new ‘Stop Pedophilia’ law. The law falsely links LGBT+ people with pedophilia and could effectively stop all sex education in schools, if it goes ahead.

Moreover, several Polish cities and districts have declared their neighborhoods to be ‘LGBT Free Zones’. The zones are not legally enforceable but have made LGBT+ Poles feel threatened and excluded.

So far, statistics indicate coronavirus has not hit Poland as badly as other European countries. While stats are not entirely reliable, they show Poland has seen just 9,453 confirmed cases and only 362 deaths.

The country is under lockdown with people allowed to go out to work, exercise, get food or help those in need. Poles are supposed to wear masks or scarves in public places but masks are hard to obtain.

Jakub and Dawid Mycek-Kwiecinski with their rainbow masks.
Jakub and Dawid Mycek-Kwiecinski pose with their rainbow masks. Mycek-Kwiecinski

‘The rainbow didn’t scare people but will help them stay safe’

Jakub said: ‘Many Polish people call us [LGBT+ people] a plague. So we thought if we help people overcome real plague, they might change their mind. I know it’s naive, but if we can do something good, then why not?’

So the pair borrowed a sewing machine from one of their grandmothers and began to sew masks. Then a friend, who is tailor, also supported the idea. In the end, they were able to produce 300 masks.

Sewing the rainbow masks.
The couple borrowed one of their grandmother’s sewing machines to make the masks. Mycek-Kwiecinski

Next, the couple went onto the streets of Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sopot – three towns in the north of Poland which merge into each other to form a ‘Tri-city’ – to give away the masks for free.

‘Many “LGBT Free Zones” were created in our country so we were a bit afraid how people would react but they were really touched by our idea.

‘I think they really appreciated that someone cared about their health. It was great to see that the rainbow didn’t scare people but will help them stay safe.’

The couple also produced a video about it and put it on Facebook. It went viral in Poland and now over 2million people have seen it.

Spreading the love but their love is not recognized

It’s not the first time the Mycek-Kwiecinski’s have become a viral hit. They first came to fame for their lip-sync video of Roxette’s Some Other Summer. And in 2017, their Christmas song celebrating LGBT+ families became a surprise number one in Poland.

However, while the couple married in Spain, Poland does not recognize their relationship as same-sex marriage is illegal. Moreover, Jakub says he lost his job as a TV presenter because national broadcaster TVP fired him for being gay.

Health note: Masks do not offer complete protection against coronavirus. You should follow national health advice for your country and keep at least two meters apart.

Jakub and Dawid Mycek-Kwiecinski with their rainbow masks.
Jakub and Dawid Mycek-Kwiecinski have married but Poland does not recognize their relationship. Mycek-Kwiecinski