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A gay couple is sewing and handing out rainbow face masks for free in Poland amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jacub Kwiecinski and Dawid Mycek, a gay couple who live in the Tricity metropolitan area of coastal northern Poland, sewed 300 masks out of rainbow-colored cloth and gave them away to passersby in the city of Gdańsk.
Face masks are scarce and sold out in many places in Europe amid the global pandemic, and the government has urged people to cover their faces when out in public.
But Kwiecinski and Mycek hoped that distributing the masks would not only help their fellow Poles, but prove that LGBTQ people are not the enemies they’ve been made out to be by the government and the media, reports LGBTQ Nation.
“They call us plague, so we took it to heart and decided to infect something,” the couple wrote in a description of a YouTube video chronicling their efforts. “We targeted [COVID-19]. We borrowed a sewing machine from grandma and started sewing masks to give them away for free on the streets. And our masks are unique because it’s all rainbow!”
The couple’s activism comes at a time when LGBTQ people are under attack in the Eastern European nation.
Last week, the Parliament of Poland voted to continue debate on a proposed law, submitted to lawmakers via a citizen petition initiative, that would ban sex education by labeling people who teach youth about sexual practices as both LGBTQ activists and pedophiles — two groups they claim are one and the same.
State-sponsored homophobia is nothing new in Poland, where the ruling Law and Justice Party last year backed cities and other localities that attempted to declare themselves “LGBT-free zones” by creating laws preventing the “promotion of homosexuality” in public life.
Pride celebrations in the country were marked by violence as right-wing protesters attacked marchers.
Kwiecinski and Mycek have previously attempted to combat hate with other YouTube videos. In 2016, they made a fan video for Roxette’s “Some Other Summer,” which went viral, but led them to receive a number of anti-LGBTQ comments and death threats.
In response, they made a follow-up video, using the RedOne and Enrique Iglesias song “Don’t You Need Somebody” as background, to show the love and support they enjoy from friends, family, and members of their community.
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