Queer Eye star Antoni Porowski has spoken out against the “absurd” LGBT-free zones in Poland, the country of his parents’ birth.
The petition was handed to European commissioner for equality Helena Dalli on Tuesday (23 September) with more than 300,000 signatures.
“If Poland wants to be part of the EU, then they have to behave accordingly,” Porowski declared in an interview with the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“To have its own people excluding its own population, it seems so absurd and counterintuitive to Polish history.”
Although Porowski grew up in Montreal, he spoke Polish at home and retained strong connections to his parents’ culture. To see this culture now attacking LGBT+ people like him is “incredibly frustrating,” he said.
“I remember my father telling me that Poland wasn’t on the map for 400 years, yet they kept their faith, they kept their country,” he recalled.
“[Now] they’re fighting against their own.”
He admitted that he hasn’t always been proud of his heritage, but felt he had “a responsibility” to speak up for Poland’s LGBT+ community after hearing about rocks being thrown at a Polish Pride march last year.
“When you hear personal stories like that, it makes it a lot more difficult for me personally to turn a blind eye, and that’s where you feel like you have to do something,” he said.
Porowski, who now lives in the United States, added that he is concerned about what the upcoming presidential election could mean for LGBT+ people.
“I’m worried about my rights as well,” he said. “What’s going to happen if we have four more years of that?”
In a video uploaded to Instagram on Tuesday, the star called on his 4.5 million followers to “put your Biden… I mean your bid in” to register to vote.