Russia: Two trans advocates killed in Polish plane crash

April 12, 2010

Last Saturday’s news of the Polish plane crash near Smolensk, Russia, was undoubtedly a tragic event which has rightly received widespread media coverage.

Via email, Wiktor “Latarnik” Dynarski (Vice President for International Affairs at Trans-Fuzja) has advised that, amongst the 97 lives lost in the crash were two Polish people known for their work on trans issues.

  • Janusz Kochakowski was a lawyer, diplomat, and the Commissioner for Civil Rights Protection of the Republic of Poland (Polish Ombudsman).

    Dr. Kochakowski understood the problem of gender identity and its consequences to social and legal affairs and openly supported non-mandatory GID-cards that (in addition to official, government IDs) help transgender people (especially those in transition) exist in Polish society and reduce the number of issues when a transgender person needs to reveal his/hers/hir documents and legal name and/or gender. Dr. Kochanowski supported the idea even when the Polish Ministry of Interior and Administration refused to acknowledge the idea. Kochanowski was also known for his strange ideas about feminism and women’s rights, nevertheless it is important to remember that he understood at least some of the issues transgender people need to deal with.

  • Izabela Jaruga-Nowacka was a member of the national Parliament (Sejm), a firm advocate of LGBT rights and a dedicated feminist.

    Mrs. Nowacka strongly supported our need of new legislation and promised to lobby as much as possible, even though the support for TG issues in Poland is still at a very low level. Her motto: “Humans first” perfectly described the politics she was trying to engage in Poland, without exclusion, based on real equality. She always supported Polish Equality Marches, Parades and Prides and was in fact the one to support the Parade cancelled in 2005 by deceased Lech Kaczyński, at that time the president of Warsaw. She was indeed the politician the LGBTQI community could call “our own”.

I send my condolences to the loved ones of Dr. Kochakowski, Mrs. Nowacka and all the other passengers whose lives were lost in this tragic event.


One Response to “Russia: Two trans advocates killed in Polish plane crash”

  1. Michelle Says:

    I was like you saddened to hear about the plane crash at the weekend, but what also saddened me just as much was how the gay media first focused on the death of the President and his anti-gay views.

    For me I found taking such an angle distasteful, and also disrespectful to people like Dr Kochakowski and Izabela Nowacka whose contribution to the LGBT community were effectively ignord. Thank you for putting that right.

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