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Through a Prism - the many shades of the LGBTQIAP+ rainbow


“Just as a prism splits light into all the colors, the LGBT+ community is made up of many different sexual orientations and gender identities linked by non-normativity,” says Hanna (Hania) Jaśkiewicz, queer activist and founder of the @przez.pryzmat (through.prism) Instagram account, where she showcases the many shades of the LGBTQIAP rainbow that are lost in the mainstream media portrayal of queerness.

The idea for the social media account dedicated to less visible groups in the queer community, that she herself is a part of, was born during the 2019 HIA Academy of Human Rights. She credits the Humanity in Action Poland’s Warsaw Fellowship with the expansion of intersectional consciousness. It was then that she began thinking critically of the predominantly gay and lesbian narrative, which sidelined the experiences of trans, non-binary, bi-, pan-, asexual, and all others who don’t fit the heterosexual and cisgender norm.

@przez.pryzmat puts a spotlight on the “invisible” orientations and gender identities, featuring personal narratives and candid Polaroid photos of young queer activists and artists. LGBTQIAP – behind each of these letters there are real people who have their own stories, opinions and dreams.

My name is Laura and I am a transgender lesbian, begins one of the stories.

At first it was quite “innocent”, I just wanted to see what it was like to wear women’s stuff, heels and make-up. But gradually, thanks also to the invaluable support of my wonderful girlfriend, I opened up more and more to the world with this. (…) For the first time I really began liking myself. When I hear my real name, when I get up in the morning and know who I am, it’s nice to see myself in the mirror, no matter what I look like.

There is also an educational component, where Hania breaks down terms like “rainbow capitalism” or explains what “passing” and “deadnaming” mean. She believes Instagram to be an effective tool for education and social change. She drew her inspiration social media accounts such as The Queer Muslim Project and Humans of NY, examples where storytelling is a powerful force to bring attention to issues of social injustice.

Hania says it was the HIA Academy of Human Rights that gave her motivation and courage to act, helping her recognize she already has all it takes to make this project happen. That her voice is valid and her knowledge can be a resource to many. That by making herself heard in social media she’s creating a safe and brave space for others. The self-empowering aspect of the Fellowship and the supportive environment enable many young activists to realize their dream projects.

Though Hania does not like to talk about herself, she has created a thriving community and got to connect with many wonderful people through her project. Now she would like to reach out to a wider audience, engaging more people from outside of the LGBT+ community.