June 17, 2023

Athens PRIDE 2023


Democrats Abroad Greece was there,

Supporting the LGBTQI community in solidarity

It was one of the first warm. sunny days Athens had in a few weeks---and the light was bright and the smiles were wide on Kotzia Square, facing Athens neoclassic City Hall Building.

Democrats Abroad Greece volunteer team was present on June 10 to sign up US citizens living in Greece to vote from abroad, to make others aware of US Absentee voting rights and to take donations for button, t-shirts and hats as well as answer questions from visitors.

Volunteers included Charity Moschopoulos, Jan Sanders, Anna Haughton, Tyler Boersen and Stacey Harris-Papaioannou. Also present was Democrats Abroad Greece mascot—Dennis the Donkey –sporting the organization's acronym, DAGR but with a slight switch to spell DRAG.


This year’s Athens PRIDE festival ran from noon until midnight.  A variety of groups sponsored kiosks on the square with giveaways and take aways. Remarks came from a variety of groups represented at the festival.  US Ambassador to Greece George Tsunis offered congratulations and the continuous support of diplomatic staff for Greece’s LGBTQI community. Ambassador Tsunis marched in the parade along with colleagues from the US Embassy and other embassies in Athens. 

At 7 pm marchers began gathering in preparation for the parade that would lead from Kotzia Square up to Syntagma and back again. After the parade musical performances began on the main stage and ran well past midnight. The entertainment included Greek singers and musicians as well as drag performances.

Originally scheduled to be held in Syntagma square, as in many of the past celebrations, the festival was relocated to Kotzia Square because of the Kiosk of the Political Party New Democracy, located on Athens central square, in preparation for the second round of national elections on June 25. 

In a statement issued on its web page Athens PRIDE festival stated: Although Athens Pride is political party neutral, it is not politically neutral. From May 17 to June 1o 63 events in 26 venues took place across the city. An estimated 170,00 people took part in the festival this year filling the streets with evidence of color, freedom and dreams. Organizers plan to return to Syntagma in 2024.

The theme of Athens Pride 2023 was ‘’Once Upon A Time’’

Once upon a time… they called me by my name.

I could introduce myself without hesitation, show my ID wherever I wanted to and was

addressed with the right pronouns.

Once upon a time… my partnership was recognized.

And the choice was only mine and was not dependent on my sex, gender, and gender identity

or expression. I could have children, a proper marriage, and the family that I wanted -not as

others defined it.

Once upon a time… I was my true self.

I could exist the way I wanted, doctors did not interfere with my body without my consent, Ι never

hid in the depths of “a closet” and neither my gender, my body nor the people I loved had anything to

do with my worth.


Once upon a time… I survived.

I was not forced to leave a world that never made room for me. I wore what I wanted, went

where I wanted and returned home whenever I wanted. The rates of murder, suicide, and

bullying were not higher for people like me.

Once upon a time… I was not afraid.

I was not afraid to exist, to enjoy, to live. I was not afraid to be my true self.”

As always, this particular fairy tale is only read in closed closets, written in hidden diaries and is

never confessed… until now.

This fairy tale is now over.

On June 10th, we will take to the streets as we do every year to celebrate, remember, and

demand the life that is owed to us:

To have our families out in the open,

to love freely, without shame,

to own our bodies,

to make decisions for ourselves,

to not be murdered on the streets,

to not fear for our lives,

to be able to tell our children…

“Once upon a time… I fought for my rights and succeeded”.