Take a breath, you’re at home
human rights
City (headquarters):
Voivodeship (headquarters):
02-11-2021 - 28-02-2023
Project cost:
27 800,00 EUR
27 800,00 EUR
Types of activities:
educational activities, information activities, intervention actions and assistance for lgbt+ people exposed to violence, including domestic and sexual violence
Target groups:
LGBT+, professionals

The project responds to the problem of discrimination and exclusion of LGBT+ people in Kielce. Recently in Kielce, the LGBT+ community has experienced tremendous symbolic violence related to the rainbow benches project implemented in public spaces as part of the Civic Budget. The project has provoked a number of homophobic reactions from the media and local politicians. The discussion around the dangers of the colorful furniture led to a ban on proposing “ideological” projects in the regulations of the future budget, and shortly after the benches were placed in various locations, they were vandalized. Offensive slogans attacking LGBT+ people were written on the benches, and they were destroyed, set on fire and uprooted. At the same time, no one from the city government directly addressed the homophobia and hatred that motivated the vandalism. Despite the Project Promoter’s appeals to the Mayor and City Council to initiate an anti-discrimination campaign, the authorities remained passive. Moreover, Kielce itself lacks an offer to strengthen and integrate the LGBT+ community.

The project included initiatives to raise the visibility of LGBT+ people and provide them with psychological support and a safe space to meet. The Project Promoter conducted a series of activities to support LGBT+ people in Kielce and the region, including a series of open integration and self-development meetings (meditation, yoga, film meetings and discussions, picnic, dance classes, community kitchen), psychological consultations and 4 self-defense and assertiveness workshops for women. Anti-discrimination workshops were also organized for local officials, and teachers. These activities were complemented by an outdoor social-information campaign to raise the visibility of LGBT+ people in Kielce.

Various groups of people benefited from the project – primarily the local LGBT+ community, but also activists, teachers, and officials in the region. The visibility of LGBT+ people in Kielce and knowledge of discrimination against LGBT+ people increased. Those who participated in the educational workshops improved their competence in recognizing homophobia and responding to it. In turn, LGBT+ people learned how to identify the symptoms of a crisis and how to cope with mental problems, and inclusive meetings brought the community closer together.

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