Tens of thousands of people flooded the streets of Warsaw on Saturday for the annual Pride parade, voicing their demands for equality and LGBTQ+ rights in the run-up to the Polish elections.

With the country’s right-wing government seeking re-election, their opposition to what they label as “LGBT ideology” has been a recurring theme in previous campaigns. However, Warsaw’s mayor, Rafal Trzaskowski, a member of the liberal opposition party, reassured the LGBTQ+ community that they would always be safe.

Addressing the crowds, he expressed hope for a Poland where everyone could live without fear, stating, “We want to show that today diversity and minority rights represent an open and tolerant Europe.”


Poland remains one of the few European countries where same-sex relationships are not legally recognised, and same-sex couples are barred from adopting children. Additionally, transgender individuals face significant obstacles when seeking to formalise their transition.

The ruling conservative nationalist Law and Justice party (PiS) argues that extending marriage and adoption rights to same-sex couples poses a threat to traditional family structures and could be detrimental to children’s well-being. Activists anticipate that the party will exploit these issues to mobilise conservative voters, leveraging Poland’s predominantly Catholic demographic, in the upcoming elections scheduled for October or November.

Despite the challenges, organisers of Warsaw’s Equality March, such as Alicja Herda, express confidence in the resilience of the LGBTQ+ community.

Herda acknowledges the potential for opposition but affirms their determination, stating, “We are a very strong community, and we will not be easily deterred from holding our Pride marches because it’s okay to be who we are.”

Joining the massive crowds in solidarity were notable figures such as US Ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski and the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo. Hidalgo expressed her unwavering support for the rights of transgender people, emphasising the importance of defending women’s rights, minority rights, and LGBT rights, both in Warsaw and Paris.

As the Pride march concluded, it served as a powerful reminder of the continued fight for equality and acceptance in Poland, highlighting the determination of the LGBTQ+ community to secure their rights and celebrate their identities despite prevailing challenges.