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.
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.
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