How a hashtag looks set to offer LGBTI people a #MeToo moment in Poland ǀ View

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07/31/2019

Ten days ago, approaching the main city square where Białystok’s first ever LGBTI pride march was due to start, I was met with a scene of chaos. Thousands of angry people were confronting the marchers, shouting homophobic abuse and lashing out with fists, boots and flag poles. But in the ten days since the Białystok violence, something miraculous has happened in Poland. Two days ago, a young man called Tomasz tweeted a message suggesting that LGBTI people post photos of themselves “in school or work showing that we are the normal people whom you might meet anywhere: in the shop, on the street, the office”. He added the hashtag #jestemLGBT (“I am LGBT”) and for the last two days, it has been trending at the No.1 spot on Polish twitter, with thousands expressing solidarity by tweeting and re-tweeting.

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