offers the first book-length account of the emergence of homosexual movement in Poland in the 1980s
traces transnational flows of identity paradigms and activism models in the first Polish gay and lesbian magazines
explores the globalization of homosexuality in Central and Eastern Europe under communism
develops a model of networked sexual globalization
Transnational Homosexuals in Communist Poland traces the fascinating history of the first Polish gay and lesbian magazines to explore the globalization of LGBT identities and politics in Central and Eastern Europe during the twilight years of the Cold War. It details the emergence of homosexual movement and charts cross-border flows of cultural products, identity paradigms and activism models in communist Poland. The work demonstrates that Polish homosexual activists were not locked behind the Iron Curtain, but actively participated in the transnational construction of homosexuality. Their magazines were largely influenced by Western magazines: used similar words, discussed similar topics or simply translated Western texts and reproduced Western images. However, the imported ideas were not just copied but selectively adopted as well as strategically and creatively adapted in the Polish magazines so their authors could construct their own unique identities and build their own original politics.
1 INTRODUCTION: A SEXUAL COLD WAR AND ITS MYTHS
1.1 Myths and No History
1.2 Unde Venis, CEE?
1.3 Book Structure
PART I: GLOBAL, EASTERN AND POLISH HOMOSEXUALS
2 GLOBALIZATION OF LGBT IDENTITIES AND POLITICS
2.1 Global LGBT Identities
2.2 Global LGBT Politics
2.3 The Impact of HIV/AIDS
2.4 Postcolonial and Transnational Responses
2.5 The Forgotten Second World
3 HOMOSEXUALITY IN THE EASTERN BLOC
3.1 EEIP Reports
3.2 Communism as They Knew It
3.3 State Laws and Practices
3.4 Homosexuality in Public Discourses
3.5 Homosexual Self-Organizing
4 HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVISM IN COMMUNIST POLAND
4.1 The State, Opposition and Church
4.2 Homosexuality before 1980
4.3 Early 1980s: Transnational Origins
4.4 Mid 1980s: Operation Hyacinth
4.5 Late 1980s: Demands for Recognition
PART II: TRANSNATIONALISM IN GAY AND LESBIAN MAGAZINES
5 POLISH GAY AND LESBIAN MAGAZINES
5.1 Alternative Media and Social Movements
5.2 Transnational Network of Gay and Lesbian Magazines
5.3 Publishing Underground in Communist Poland
5.4 Biuletyn/Etap Magazine
5.5 Filo Magazine
6 (RE)CONSTRUCTING IDENTITIES
6.1 Born This Way
6.2 Out and Proud
6.3 The Romantic Self
6.4 The Sexual Self
6.5 The Collective Self
7 (RE)BUILDING POLITICS
7.1 Making an Activist
7.2 Writing Histories
7.3 Vision for the Movement
7.4 Visibility Politics
7.5 Information Activism
8.1 Rusted Pink Curtain
8.2 Networked Sexual Globalization
8.3 Hoax Queer Wars
Lukasz Szulc is Marie Curie Individual Fellow in the Media and Communications Department of the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK, and co-chair of LGBTQ Interest Group in International Communication Association. He has published articles in journals such as Sexualities, New Media & Society, Social Media + Society, International Journal of Communication and contributed chapters to books such as Queer in Europe (2011) and Everyday Nationhood (2017). He is co-editor of the book LGBTQs, Media and Culture in Europe (2017) and contributor to the blog Notches: (Re)Marks on the History of Sexuality.
Professor of Sociology, University of Essex, UK
Transnational Homosexuals in Communist Poland is an important, cogent and provocative study. Providing a rich account of the Central and Eastern European and Polish homosexual, it challenges mainstream assumptions, and provides new and original materials to advance understanding of Polish homosexual life. It gets this exciting book series on Global Queer Politics off to a promising start.
Professor of History, City University of New York, USA
A marvellously innovative addition to our understanding of the history of sex rights activism and to the history of Poland under and after communism, Szulc’s book uses fascinating primary sources and challenges numerous misconceptions.
Professor of Communication, University of Southern California, USA
"Neither romanticizing nor underplaying the complex realities of gay and lesbian life in Central and Eastern Europe, Szulc’s sophisticated and empirically grounded account contributes to a fuller understanding of the past that is particularly valuable as we face a challenging future.
Professor of History, University of Bristol, UK
An impressive contribution to the LGBT+ history of Poland, and a must-read for scholars of social movements, underground publishing and gay and lesbian identities in late socialist Central and Eastern Europe.
Reader in Human Geography, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
In documenting and analysing the transnational orientation of gay and lesbian magazines in communist Poland, Szulc challenges the dehistoricization of lesbian and gay lives within research on Poland sexual politics. Adopting a transnational lens to examine same sex identities and politics in Poland, this book constitutes an important contribution to studies of the global and transnational politics of sexualities, as well as current debates about the geopolitics of the region within sexuality studies.
Research Chair, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary
This is a thoroughly well-researched work, framed in the myths of the sexual Cold War. It draws on gay and lesbian magazines and interviews with authors as well as ILGA archive material to trace Polish LGBT activism through the last decade of communist rule, including the years of martial law and the emergence of Solidarność movement. Details are given of the shocking events surrounding Operation Hyacinth, a major effort of state surveillance on behalf of the Polish police to create lists of gays.
Jan Willem Duyvendak
Professor of Sociology, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
This book is social science at its best: unmasking myths about homosexuality in former communist countries. Based on careful reading and analysis of gay and lesbian magazines, Szulc shows us the importance of transnational aspects of emerging homosexual identities and politics in Poland at the twilight of the Cold War. A must read!