By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com March 27 2003 1:00 AM ET
Gay men and lesbians in Poland have decided to come out of the closet in a big way: by splashing their pictures on billboards that are going up across the country, where more than 90% of the population is Roman Catholic, Agence France-Presse reports. The billboards, which are tall enough to deter vandals, feature photos of gay and lesbian couples, with the words "Look at us!"
"The large majority of Polish homosexuals are afraid to manifest themselves, to come out of the closet," said Karolina Bregula, a photographer who initiated the campaign, which features 30 couples on dozens of billboards across the country. Bregula said she got the idea for the campaign after a two-year stay in Sweden. "There, homosexual couples live freely, are part of society," she said. "In Poland such a situation is unimaginable. People look at homosexuals as if they were from another world. I would like to change this state of affairs. I would like to show them in a normal situation, just like anyone else."
But the posters won't be seen by everyone in the country; the mayors of Warsaw and Krakow have refused to allow them in their cities.