Sometimes the stuff I blog about gets me pretty down. There’s a lot of ugliness in humanity, and a lot of things to despair about. The ever-persistent stain of racism, rampant and unabashed misogyny, the easy lies of conservatism… it’s enough to wring a tear from even my stony gaze, and I have to reach for my supply of otter pictures.
Then again, sometimes a story comes along and completely cheers me up:
Poland’s first transsexual member of parliament has been sworn in, in what has traditionally been a socially conservative country. Fifty-seven-year-old Anna Grodzka was previously a man, known as Krzysztof, before having surgery in Thailand.
Okay, that’s pretty cool. Poland has made a progressive milestone by electing someone who, no matter how qualified, would not have been able to serve in office a generation ago. That’s pretty cheering. But wait, there’s more…
Poland’s first openly gay MP was also sworn in, following the general election in October.
Oh wow! Two major milestones. Poland has certainly made major strides, considering the immense social pressure that must be stacked against any openly gay person in a place as blighted with churches as Poland is…
Analysts say the electoral success of the party they both represent is a sign of the waning influence of the Church. The party, the Palikot Movement, has taken a strong anti-clerical stance, criticising Roman Catholic priests who get involved in politics.
It surprised many observers by winning 10% of the vote in the general election, making it the third largest political grouping in the Polish parliament.
There is a major political party in Poland with a strong anti-clerical stance? There isn’t a major political party in Canada with that kind of platform, and we are a fairly irreligious bunch. Ooh, there’s a party in my pants, and my anti-theism is invited! What other delights could this magical article possibly contain?
Palikot campaigned for the legalisation of abortion, gay marriage and marijuana.
If this article was a dude, I would gay marry it, get high with it, and then refuse to carry the resulting pregnancy to term (somehow… science will catch up). Women’s reproductive rights, sensible drug policy, and equal protections for LGBT people? In Poland? I love it.
Is it weird that stories like this make me stupidly happy? When you spend your days poring over the hateful, spiteful and stupid aspects of humanity, you’ve got to take your wins where you can find them. It is a rare occasion when this many come as part of the same story.
What the hell, we’ll do an otter picture anyway:
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