A group of people in Warsaw, Poland gathered to mourn the loss of a transgender friend last night (24 May).
They hung a rainbow flag over the Łazienkowski Bridge where Milo Mazurkiewicz, who identified as non-binary trans, took their own life just two weeks prior.
‘I’m fed up,’ Mazurkiewicz wrote in a 2 May Facebook post: ‘I’m fed up being treated like a piece of shit.’
They then added: ‘I’m fed up with people (psychologists, doctors, therapists) telling me I can’t be who I am because I don’t look like that.
‘Treating me as if it was all in my head and telling me I need papers proving it.
‘Caring more about how I dress than how I feel.
‘Telling me that it’s good that my chosen name is neutral-sounding, that it’s good my body is not extremely feminine, that’s it’s good I haven’t come out at work (yet).
‘Telling me that maybe I should stop being (trying to be) myself and wait until other doctors and therapists decide I can.
‘I’m fed up of all of that.
‘Sometimes it makes me fight even more, sometimes it makes me want to end it all and stop my life right here.
‘Sometimes it’s just makes me want to cry,’ they wrote.
They then followed up this Facebook post with another one on 6 May: ‘I’m sorry.’
This is the same day she took her own life.
Bartosz Staszewski is an activist from Polish group Proud and Furious. The group decided to hold a special tribute for Mazurkiewicz last night at 7pm.
They held a minute of silence and unfurled a rainbow flag over the side of the Warsaw bridge.
But about 15 minutes into the memorial, a man ran up to the flag along the bicycle track and tried to tear it down.
In that exact moment, a drone was recording the incident unfold. It zoomed in on the attacker fighting with the activists, as he manages to rip the purple stripe off the rainbow flag.
He then exchanges heated words with the activists, before violently kicking and assaulting them and then running away.
The man screamed: ‘Get out of Poland,’ according to Staszewski.
The Proud and Furious activist then exclusively told Gay Star News that at the same time as the attack on the cyclists bridge, there was also another attack with the main group on the above bridge.
‘Those two groups were very different groups,’ Staszewski said. ‘It just shows that in one hour, we were attacked by two different groups of homophobic people, who were not afraid to approach us.’
One of the attacker’s targeted the group’s photographer, punching him in the face.
Luckily, there were no serious injuries.
During the attack, an activist called police and asked authorities to urgently come to help.
But it took them around 50 minutes to arrive at the scene, according to Staszewski.
The police arrested two of the attackers, but the attackers from the cyclists bridge managed to escape.
The Polish activists also tried to approach media outlets to talk about the incident, but they refused because it’s too political amidst the EU elections this weekend.
Activists are urging people to spread the news of the attack, in light of a lack of response from local media.
In a list of 49 European countries, Poland ranked number 38.
The Polish leader previously called LGBTI rights a ‘foreign import that threatens the nation’.