“We are starting a movement to fight for the human right to love without fear”

BY ELEANOR NOYCE, IMAGES BY BEN YOUDAN & DAVID HOCKNEY

Opening on 5 October at London’s Zebra One Gallery, queer art show Love Is Not An Ideology will be raising money for Polish Charity Federacja Znaki Równości. It will feature work by poignant queer artists, notably David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Pure Evil, Mason Storm, and Rich Simmons. All proceeds will be going towards helping LGBTQIA+ people in Poland, so this is an excellent cause, DIVAs.

LGBTQIA+ rights in Poland have long been tenuous. Almost 70% of the LGBTQIA+ community in Poland have been subjected to physical, sexual or verbal violence, and less than 4% have felt comfortable reporting these incidents to the police. As a result, 70% of LGBTQIA+ teenagers suffer with suicidal thoughts, and with half of Poland’s municipalities declaring themselves “LGBT-Free Zones”, violence directed at the queer and trans communities has only increased.

This bleak reality is worsened by an active commitment by the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, towards an anti-LGBTQIA+ stance. Duda recently committed himself towards fighting “LGBT ideology” in Poland, labelling the LGBTQIA+ community a “Rainbow Plague”. This comes after the 2020 arrest of non-binary LGBTQIA+ activist Margot Szutowicz, co-founder of the Stop Bzdurom Collective, who was detained for a two-month period after slashing the tyres of a truck saturated with homophobic slogans. The event caused widespread media speculation from around the world after Margot was placed in an all-male prison and purposefully misgendered by the Polish authorities.   

Image by David Hockney.

Lapinus Morgan, the activist behind Love Is Not An Ideology, states: “I was born in Poland and was subjected to homophobia, but was lucky enough to start a new life in London, where I was welcomed and shown that being gay is nothing to be ashamed of. The overwhelming response from diverse artists to this project shows the LGBTQIA+ community in Poland that they are not alone. We are starting a movement to fight for the human right to love without fear”.

Gabrielle Du Plooy, owner of Zebra One Gallery, continues: “This show will celebrate love in all of its forms and all of the money raised from it will allow that love to continue, without shame, terror or persecution”.

LGBTQIA+ people in Poland need help, and they need help now. What better way to support this meaningful cause than through the lens of art? Pop down to Zebra One Gallery on Hampstead High Street from 5 October to show your support. Don’t forget your pennies!

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