This project concerns the problem of increasing prejudice, abuse, and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and also the insufficient support provided for young LGBTQIA people in Białystok. The condition of LGBTQIA people in Poland is exceptionally poor – five times more LGBTQIA people suffer from depression than heterosexual and cisgender people, and approximately 70% of young people consider suicide. The I Białystok gay pride march, at which there were dangerous hated-related attacks, was traumatic for the local LGBTQIA community. At local government level, a homophobic resolution was pushed through opposing LGBT ideology and excluding LGBTQIA people from the local community. Meanwhile, in essence, LGBTQIA people have no means of seeking help in a crisis because the local institutions responsible for preventing abuse do not provide help for this minority. At times, the pandemic is especially difficult for the LGBTQIA community – particularly for young people, who are at greater risk of domestic abuse when isolated.
Under the project, the Project Promoter will provide psychological support for LGBTQIA people in Białystok and the surrounding area, and those close to them. There will be a confidential helpline, and online support. Persons who provide psychological counselling will be able to make use of supervision. There will also be a publicity campaign consisting of six billboards promoting free psychological support.
The project will be useful above all to young LGBTQIA people (approximately 200 people) in the Podlaski voivodship, especially in rural areas, who are financially dependent on their parents and have limited access to psychological aid. The support provided will help to reduce minority stress and improve self-acceptance of young LBGTQIA people. The counselling will also be useful to parents of LGBTQIA people in need of emotional support and psychoeducation.