Perspectives: Pride


During our first Perspectives ⎸Pride meeting in late April, we realised that in more or less a week, at least two transphobic attacks/ incidents became known through traditional and social media: The first one happened in Monastiraki area of downtown Athens, where a group of men attacked a trans femininity 1 and the second one took place in a church soup kitchen in Kallithea, where a priest refused to serve a trans person, despite her having all the necessary documents and what’s more, he started an extremely offensive transphobic rant against her 2.

In addition to the above, a kindergarten teacher recently denounced the fact that she was fired because of some parents’ reactions to the fact that she is trans. 3 At the same time, even though a new law was voted that criminalises conversion “therapies” for underaged children, thus recognising their non-scientific nature, on the other hand it allows for “conversion practices” on adults,4 thus escalating the vicious circle of abuse and blatantly ignoring the fact that such practices have been described as “torture” by the UN. On an international level, the “Don’t Say Gay” bill was passed in Florida, prohibiting the teaching of anything related to sexual orientation and gender identity until the third grade.

Αll the above developments prompted the decision to focus part of this Perspectives’ edition [an edition inspired by Pride Week (10-17 June) whose theme this year is Safer Spaces ]5 to the educational dimension of this issue. We did so, because acceptance and love of diversity are matters of personal and institutional education that should start from a very young age and should empower all children and especially LGBTQI+ children and children that are members of LGBTQI+ families, as they’re more vulnerable. LGBTQI+ children are more vulnerable because they get bullied and suffer more discrimination in school and children with LGBTQI+ parents suffer because of the gap created by the State’s reluctancy to recognise one of their parents, since it won’t allow for same-sex civil marriage, adoption and co-parenthood by same-sex couples and trans individuals.

It is worth noting that same-sex couples in Greece can only live in civil partnership and be foster parents, even though after the last UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) it’s been strongly recommended that Greece passes and implements laws that would allow for same-sex marriage and the possibility to adopt children.6. Also, when talking about strengthening LGBTQI+ rights in September 2020, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, spoke of the mutual recognition of family relations in the EU, saying that “If you’re (an LGBTQI) a parent in one country, then you’re a parent in every EU country”.7 Contrary to what happens in Greece, 19 European countries (Andora, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Spain, Croatia, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, United Kingdom) recognise full joint adoption by same-sex couples, and four countries (San Marino, Estonia, Italy, Slovenia) allow children adoption where a person can adopt the biological or adopted child of their partner regardless of their sex.8

The issue’s educational dimension, though, is particularly important, especially in Greece, also for reasons regarding the school environment and the way the education system shields the students and defends diversity. The current situation is rather disheartening as, according to a survey conducted by Colour Youth on school climate,9 84.9% of the children have heard the word “gay” in school associated with negative connotations, while 74.2% have heard other kinds of homophobic remarks by other students. In order to better understand school climate, we should also keep another factor in mind, and that is the way teachers and educators treat LGBTQI+ children and also how they choose to deal with verbal harassment of these children. More than half of the children (58.1%) have heard teachers make homophobic remarks and one out of three times – even though the teachers were present – they did not intervene in order to prevent homophobic assaults between children.

The adversities that LGBTQI+ people have to face in their everyday lives are (also) depicted in a recent review by ILGA – Europe 202210 that analyses data from 2021, with the most alarming finding being the significant increase in hate speech and violence against members of the LGBTQI community both in the streets as well as in their own homes. More specifically, in the above-mentioned review we read that there were hate speech incidents by politicians against LGBTQI+ people in 22 countries (Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, N. Macedonia, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom). Also during this past year, religious leaders have spread misinformation and hate messages against LGBTQI+ people in Georgia, Italy, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine, while Police Officers in Denmark and Finland and Border Patrol in Romania appear to have done the same.

Perspectives ⎸Pride hopes to contribute to the effort that’s being made to diminish the distance between the internalised fear and feelings of guilt that LGBTQI+ people often experience because of the stigma, stereotypes and anachronistic views that unfortunately still exist in society, and proud and free expression. In an ever-changing world, it is up to all of us to try and change it for the better, keeping in mind the first article of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights11 that states that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”.

Terminology Glossary

Acronyms and terminology can sometimes stress and/or confuse those who aren’t familiar with their content. Specific terms are necessary, though, in order for all gender and sexual identities to become visible. ταυτότητες. Colour Youth has created a glossary including all LGBTQI+ related terms which is available here (in Greek).

Useful Links

LGBTQI+ rights across the globe, Scientific Agencies and Institutions, LGBTQI+ organisations, groups and projects in Greece. Orlando LGBTQI+ Stigma Free Mental Health has created a guidebook (in Greek) with useful links regarding LGBTQI+ organisations and rights. Feel free to browse here.



  1., “Extreme transphobic attack: 20 people beat up a trans femininity and  allies”, 26th April 2022 (in Greek) []
  2. Panos Kodonas, “Kallithea: Priest kicked trans woman out of a soup kitchen saying “Go do the only job you know how to do”, 19 April 2022,  (in Greek) []
  3., “Denouncement/ A kindergarten teacher fired for being trans – Her young students take her side and support her” 14 April 2022 (in Greek) []
  4. Orlando LGBT – Stigma-Free Mental Health “Criminalisation of Conversion Therapies: A hard to impose law for underaged people that specifically allows for adult conversion therapies”, 15 May 2022 (in Greek) []
  5. Athens Pride, 2022[]
  6. During its Universal Periodic Review (UPR), Greece received recommendations to pass and implement laws that recognise same-sex marriage and the possibility to adopt children” ILGA-Europe – the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, Page 18, Annual Review, 2022[]
  7. “So, I want to be crystal clear – LGBTQI-free zones are humanity free zones. And they have no place in our Union. And to make sure that we support the whole community, the Commission will soon put forward a strategy to strengthen LGBTQI rights. As part of this, I will also push for mutual recognition of family relations in the EU. If you are parent in one country, you are parent in every country”, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, 2020[]
  8. ILGA-Europe, Annual Review, 2022[]
  9. Colour Youth – Athens LGBTQ Youth Community “First National School Climate Survey – The experiences of LGBTQI youth in Greek Secondary Education”, 2018[]
  10., “Annual Review of the Human Rights Situation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex People – ILGA-Europe – the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association”, 2022[]
  11. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), 1948[]
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