The biggest gay pride parade in central Europe happened in Warsaw for the first time in 2 years following a pandemic-induced fracture — and amid a backlash at Poland and Hungary against LGBT rights.

Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski walked in the head of the Equality Parade on Saturday — a Indication of support for LGBT rights from the liberal politician.

But that degree of acceptance isn’t universal in Poland, a heavily Catholic, mostly conservative nation.

The joyous and vibrant celebration was tinged with dread of what the future holds for the rights of gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender individuals after reverses in Russia and currently in Hungary.

He explained feelings of despair and helplessness that LGBT individuals haven’t attained rights enjoyed same-sex partnership or union in Poland, while also confronting new dangers.

The parade comes days after Hungary’s parliament passed a legislation which makes it illegal to demonstrate any substances regarding LGBT issues to individuals under 18.

Hungary’s conservative ruling party portrayed the legislation as a bid to fight pedophilia. But human rights groups view it as a cynical tool which can stigmatize and discriminate against LGBT individuals, and protect against youth from getting critical information.

Poland’s populist ruling party has obtained a political leadership quite like that of Hungary under Prime Minister Viktor Orban in previous decades, compelling conservative policies and tightening judgment party control over media and courts. The European Union has denounced both of these member countries, accusing these eroding democratic standards.

He explained it was a message into the EU to act in defense of LGBT individuals because he worries that”Poland would be following.”

One year before, the Polish LGBT community faced a backlash from judgment conservative historians, local communities and the church. In his successful bid for reelection against a challenge from Trzaskowski, President Andrzej Duda announced who”LGBT isn’t individuals; it is a ideology” while also asserting it was”more damaging” than communism.

And dozens of neighborhood communities in Poland were passing resolutions against”LGBT ideology” in what had been described as an effort to safeguard the family. All these were strongly denounced by EU officials plus a few have been rescinded.

“We have been through a very, very demanding time, but in precisely the exact same time we’re heading out in the roads and we’re saying we’re more powerful and we aren’t likely to give up,” explained Miroslawa Makuchowska, vice president of Campaign Against Homophobia.