Margot Szutowicz

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Margot Szutowicz
Date of birth 1995
Nationality Polish
Pronouns she/her[1], ona/jej[2]
Gender identity nonbinary[1][3]
Occupation activist

Margot Szutowicz is a Polish LGBTQ activist, one of the founders of the "Stop Bzdurom" ("Bzdurom" meaning "nonsense" or "bullshit"), a radical, queer, feminist direct action group. As of late 2020, Margot has become a figurehead of Poland's LGBTQ rights movement.[4]

According to Wprost investigation, in July 2018 Margot was involved in spray-painting the Sejm (lower chamber of the Polish parliament) and in November 2019 protested against giving an award to Roman Polański at a film festival which was taking place at the National Film School in Łódź.[5]

Stop Bzdurom,[6][7][8] which she runs, is "a radical, queer collective". It was named in reaction to a proposed "Stop Paedophilia" bill that they viewed as being in large part against the LGBT community.[4][3]

On 27 June 2020,[9] a truck belonging to an anti-abortion foundation, Fundacja Pro, emblazoned with homophobic and anti-abortion slogans, equipped with loudspeakers, was confronted by a group of activists who slashed the tyres, damaged a mirror, stole the number plate and physically assaulted the driver.[10][11] Margot was arrested for battery on 7 August 2020 and placed in police custody for a period of two months.[12][13] Following the arrest, various groups of people protested her incarceration, claiming it was politically motivated. As a result, 48 more people were arrested in an event referred to as Polish Stonewall.[14] She had been held in a detention facility in Płock, central Poland[3] and was released on 28 August.[15] Margot told the BBC that she only attempted to stop the truck driver from filming her with his mobile phone and did not assault him: "I wish I could have beat him up - but he was three or four times larger than me."[16]

In August 2020, dozens of writers, filmmakers and actors from various countries around the world signed an open letter decrying the oppression Margot and other activists had suffered.[17] Margot's activism has met with criticism from the vice-president of The Left's parliamentary club, Monika Pawłowska,[18] as well as commentators generally viewed as liberals or leftists, including philosopher Jan Hartman and editor-in-chief of Newsweek Polska, Tomasz Lis.[19][20] Margot was misgendered by Polish police, right-wing journalists, and right-wing politicians.[21][22]

On 4 September 2020, Margot was released from imprisonment after a successful legal appeal. Following her release, she posted a photograph holding up her middle finger and holding a scrabble sign saying "Poland, you preek [sic], stop arresting my Margot".[23] Margot, whose hunger strike in prison was suppressed by the authorities, stated she was willing to resume her hunger strike and die if it could counter Polish homophobia.[24] On 7 September 2020, a protest in support of Margot was held in front of the martyrdom monument at Old Market square, Bydgoszcz.[25]

In a BBC interview in September 2020, Margot explained: "I want to show my community that we no longer have to live in fear [...] For years we've been asking for minimal provisions and legislation that would protect us - if not from discrimination, then at least from physical violence." Regarding whether violence was a valid method of resistance, she answered: "People who have not lived the lives of the LGBT community in this country shouldn't judge us [...] And nobody should be surprised if we are eventually forced to take things into our own hands."[16]

Personal life[edit | edit source]

In an interview with the Polish edition of Vogue, Margot revealed that she is currently writing her Bachelor of Arts thesis on Christian anarchism.[26]

Margot lives with Łania Madej and is in a polyamorous relationship with Łania and a trans man named Lu.[27][28] While detained, Margot went on a hunger strike and requested a New Testament, later stating that Christianity is too serious a matter to be left in Polish Catholics' hands. Margot also stated that she is a Christian.[26][29]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Roeder, Kaela (14 August 2020). "Poland's LGBTQ activists confront growing crackdown". Los Angeles Blade: America's LGBT News Source. Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  2. "Mówiła o niej cała Polska. Siedzi w męskim areszcie. Wiemy, jak wygląda jej sytuacja" (in Polish). 20 August 2020. osoby niebinarnej używających żeńskich zaimków
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Roache, Madeline (11 August 2020). "What's Next for Poland's LGBTQ Activists After Violent Protests". Time. Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Preiss, Danielle (19 August 2020). "Polish activists fight against anti-LGBT movement". The World from PRX. Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  5. Dobski, Marcin (13 August 2020). "Czego nie mówi się o Margot? Udział w akcji pomazania ściany Sejmu, protest przeciwko Polańskiemu". Wprost Premium (in Polish). Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  6. "Poland: Stop Bzdurom, Queer struggle and the events of yesterday in Warsaw". Freedom News. 8 August 2020. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  7. "We get messages saying: "What are you doing, they're going to hate us because of you"". 9 August 2020. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  8. Bukłaha, Zuzanna (5 August 2020). "LGBTQ activists arrested over hanging rainbow flags on statues in Warsaw. They might be facing charges for offending religious feelings". Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  9. Knight, Kyle; Dam, Philippe (12 August 2020). "Poland Punishes LGBT Rights Activist with Pretrial Detention". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  10. "Aktywiści LGBT utrudniają policji działania ws. zatrzymania "Margot"" (in Polish). TVP Info. 7 August 2020. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  11. Metcalfe, Percy (12 August 2020). ""No apologies, no shame": the rise of Poland's guerrilla LGBT activists". Notes From Poland. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  14. Nowak, Marta K. (7 August 2020). "Zatrzymanie Margo. Trwa łapanka obrońców aktywistki LGBT". (in Polish). Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  15. "Sąd zwolnił Margot z aresztu". (in Polish). 28 August 2020. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Ash, Lucy (20 September 2020). "Inside Poland's 'LGBT-free zones'". BBC News. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  17. "Stars sign open letter supporting Polish LGBT rights". BBC News. 18 August 2020. Retrieved 27 August 2020.
  18. "Monika Jaruzelska ostro o Margot: to ideologiczny Kalibabka". (in Polish). 31 August 2020. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  19. "Margot, nie spieprz tego!". Loose Blues ( (in Polish). 29 August 2020. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  20. Czajka-Kominiarczuk, Katarzyna (31 August 2020). "Spór o środkowy palec Margot. Sypią się gromy i dobre rady". (in Polish). Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  21.,1, Margot w areszcie. Komisarz praw człowieka RE: Mrożący sygnał
  22. "Psycholog o Margot: Nazywanie jej mężczyzną to przemoc. Stąd się biorą zachowania samobójcze osób LGBT". (in Polish). 15 August 2020. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  23. Claudia Ciobanu; Edit Inotai; Miroslava German Sirotnikova; Tim Gosling (4 September 2020). "Democracy Digest: A JFK Moment in Taiwan and an Acquittal in Slovakia". Balkan Insight. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  24. Savage, Rachel (3 September 2020). "LGBT+ activist behind 'Polish Stonewall' not afraid to die". Reuters. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  25. "Kolorowym tańcem poparli Margot. Happening LGBT na Starym Rynku". (in Polish). 8 September 2020. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  26. 26.0 26.1 Polska, Vogue (1 September 2020). "Tylko u nas: Margot w pierwszym wywiadzie po wyjściu z aresztu". Vogue Polska (in Polish). Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  27. Krawczyk, David (12 August 2020). "Przed aresztowaniem poprosiła o Biblię. Kim jest słynna Margot?". (in Polish). Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  28. "Margot: Nie będę grzeczna, nie chcę być symbolem". (in Polish). 2 September 2020. Retrieved 4 September 2020. A teraz mam dwie takie osoby – Łanię i Lu, mojego partnera.
  29. "Margot: To także mój Chrystus". (in Polish). Retrieved 18 September 2020.
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