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Lecture in Amsterdam (17.01)

“Profiled cafes, beaches, and various associations”: Polish sexology, queerness, and the Cold War

Amsterdam Research Centre for Gender and Sexuality, Jan 17, 3:30 pm

The development of LGBTQ identity and rights in Poland is usually situated in the 1980s when the first queer magazines were published and the first associations were founded. In this talk, I look at processes that set the stage for this development. I argue that sexologists and their texts contributed to the makings of the early discourse of LGBT rights in Poland. I analyze the shift in sexological discourse that occurred in the course of the 1970s. Sexological popular writings from the early 1970s were focused on the suffering of homosexuals and stressed the pathological character of their sexuality. But in between the lines, these articles referenced gay rights, while texts from the late 1970s were explicit about homosexual emancipation. I ask why sexologists started to write differently about homosexuality. I point to the patient-oriented character of Polish sexology as well as to political processes related to the Cold War.



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