A gay couple have paid tribute to pop icon George Michael in a new video aimed at raising awareness of LGBTQ issues in Poland.
Released May 14, the video is a colorful mashup of three of Michael’s classic hits, “Faith,” “Too Funky” and “Freedom ‘90.” A bevy of well-known Polish personalities, including singer-dancer Wiktor Korszla, drag queens Charlotte Drag Queer and Aldona Relax, and vloggers Piotr Sokołowski and Paweł Dworak, star in the clip, which can be viewed above. Marek Idziak-Sepkowski and Jedrzej Idziak-Sepkowski, who tied the knot in a symbolic 2014 ceremony even though same-sex marriage is not recognized in Poland, also make appearances in the video, which concludes with a hashtag call for equality, #PolandWakeUp.
The project was spearheaded by Polish LGBTQ rights activists Jakub Kwiecinski and his boyfriend, David. The pair shot to viral fame in August 2016 when they repurposed Roxette’s “Some Other Summer” as a coming out anthem in a colorful video that has received over 490,000 views to date. Since then, they’ve produced a number of other popular YouTube clips, including LGBTQ-inclusive renditions of RedOne’s “Don’t You Need Somebody” and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”
Their homage to Michael, who died in December, is particularly fitting, given his cultural significance to the queer community. “He was the greatest gay artist of our time, a real icon,” Kwiecinski told HuffPost. He noted how he and David continue to find strength in Michael’s music. “We grew up with it, we fell in love with it... and now we can fight with it.”
Kwiecinski said he and David will head to Portugal to marry in June, even though their union won’t be official in their home country. The country’s parliament has no openly gay or transgender members, and national efforts to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination and violence have been unsuccessful.
Still, the couple have vowed to keep fighting. “We just did to say it loud and clear – we are not gonna let go and we are not afraid,” Kwiecinski said. “When we sang ‘Freedom ‘90’ at the end, we really felt a power that we can change the world. Not today, not tomorrow ― but one day, it will happen.”
No doubt George would be thrilled by the efforts his legacy has inspired.
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