Celebrity outing Polish-style

Polish society is not at ease with homosexuality. And it is not surprising that many gay people try to keep their orientation a secret. This includes celebrities.

Homosexuality in the Polish world of rich and famous is still mostly a mystery. One hears rumours, but the number of openly gay celebrities is next to… 5.

The arrival of the tabloid press hasn’t changed the unwritten rule “don’t mention they’re gay”. Among all the intimate topics press loves to investigate, sexual orientation is not. Paper editors usually belong to the same crowd, party in the same clubs, and loyally keep secrets in exchange for photo opportunities and gossip.

Only when a celebrity decides to out oneself, tabloids are happy to pick the topic up and create the right space for their coming-out. As was in recent cases of Jacek Poniedziałek (stage actor and soap actor), and Tomasz Raczek (film critic and tv personality). Their confessions made first page headlines of the large circulation daily Fakt.

The rise of Internet celebrity gossip sites brings some clues on the new order of things. Last month Pudelek (Polish version of Perez Hilton) published video of a soap actor Maciej Gołębiowski dancing shirtless and snogging his boyfriend in a trendy gay club. (You can watch the video here). One of his main roles is in a tv series called “The Parish” set in a conservative peasant community.

Maciej Gołębiewski 3Maciej Gołębiewski 2

Yet they still felt some kind of obligation to the unwritten rule, as they wrote:

We previously received several photographs showing him in private situations with guys – and we only decided to publish this information now, as he himself puts his orientation to public display.

Indeed, it is possible he did it on purpose to out himself. He must have known what he was doing showing himself around in a trendy Warsaw spot, in which celebrities and paparazzi are nothing rare. But just as well he might have simply enjoyed a night out.

The new attitude is out there however. And with increasing competition on the market unwritten rules will probably be less and less obeyed.


If you enjoyed this post why not visit my news blog, or click on Pawel on the left to see my other posts on Polandian.

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15 thoughts on “Celebrity outing Polish-style

  1. darthsida says:

    To be on the fair side, let’s add that Pudelek and its likes go gossiping galore about straight things too. And I think, should a tabloid ask me: = How would you comment on [pictures taken by a paparazzo fall on the table from an envelope definitely too thick] doing all these dirty deeds considering the fact your boyfriend had taken that position for religious ritual’s purposes only and not at all to indulge your, hm, ego? = I’d feel similarly awkward when “your boyfriend” were to be replaced with “your girlfriend”.

  2. scatts says:

    I like what this has done to our “Buzz cloud” though – it seems we have a category called ‘Foreigners Gay Hostel’. Might attract some attention, methinks! :)

  3. Pawel says:

    Did you guys notice that sometimes somethig strange happens with comments on this blog: and comments from other posts appear under other posts?

  4. island1 says:

    I noticed that a comment on my Polish girlfriend post ended up under Dat’s Polish countryside post. Have there been others? Can they be moved to where they should be?

  5. Pawel says:

    It seems refreshing the page brings things to order… but this is weird.

  6. Pawel says:

    To Darth,
    Yeah, Pudelek is an ordinary gossip site. But in the second part I’m not sure what you actually mean:)

  7. kung fu karate miszcz says:

    I never knew he was gay!
    They shouldn’t have published this anyway. Sexual orientation is a private matter. He might have problems finding work now.

  8. Pawel says:

    Sexuality seems to be one of the most public matters really. Not only for celebrities, whose relationships get investigated by the tabloids.
    People are interested in it. When you read election brochures, every MP writes how many children they have, when they have them, that they are married, when they are.
    An innocent question “How was your weekend?” leads to coming-outs. “I did some shopping with my boyfriend” or “I went shopping”?

    He might have problems, but look at Jacek Poniedziałek. He still receives new tv roles, and still plays those womanizers.

  9. darthsida says:

    => W.I.M.C.
    Yeah, comments choose a chaos but then there’s order. The Sith way. Good.

    => Paweł
    Coming out is a word for public admitting being in a sexual minority. I’d welcome a word for public disclosing membership in a sexual majority. I guess it can be awkward to talk publicly about sex, regardless of one’s sex.

  10. Pawel says:

    Darth,

    You say sex, I say relationship. You say sex, I say part of one’s life.

    You don’t talk about publicly about sex. Example of coming-out:
    (everyday question you can get asked anytime)
    – Do you have a girlfriend?
    – No, but I have a boyfriend.

    Is this talking about sex? No. Is this coming out yes. What other options you have? Not to talk about yourself at all or lie.

  11. Pawel says:

    PS. Everyone assumes everyone is straight (heteronormativity) that is why there is no such word yet.

  12. darthsida says:

    Got your point. [But please deduct me from the human race. I don’t assume everyone is straight.]

    PS Did M. Gołebiowski come out following your example above? Whether any actor’s [or actress’] torso in a movie taken in a gay / les club is far away from, well, a sex scene, is subject to individual defining. He didn’t come out through words but through video, if I understand correctly. Well, you couldn’t find me anyhow-sexually self-cast in any movie that can get public (but I take it I may be just gotten too old for this). Pudelek, on the third hand, did go plainer – discussing that the actor had expressed his e.g. rimming preferences on some dating website, IIRC (yes, IIRC).

  13. Datblog says:

    I have had many interesting discussions with Polish people about gay relationships, gay marriage, etc. There appears to be a less homophobic reaction from the younger, <30, generation – The older (predominantly) male generation on the other hand are less tolerant, more narrow minded. This was also the case in the UK 20 years ago.

    Hopefully Polish society will wake up to the reality that one should be free to choose one’s sexual orientation and not be ashamed, not have to keep it locked away.

  14. […] Celebrity outing Polish-style Polish society is not at ease with homosexuality. And it is not surprising that many gay people try to keep their orientation a secret. This includes celebrities. […]

  15. Keischa says:

    Your honesty is like a baeocn

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