In the British underground culture magazine Huck, Alex King profiles the queer art scene in Greece’s capital, which is thriving despite years of economic crisis and homophobia. The scene is drawing back Greek expats from abroad and opening up queer-friendly galleries and clubs. However, queer Greeks still face violence and homophobia, as evidenced by the murder of beloved queer activist Zak Kostopoulos last year. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Greece has long lagged behind the rest of Europe in terms of visibility, acceptance and rights for the LGBTQI+ community. Since the election of a supportive Syriza government in 2015, however, the country has finally enacted same-sex marriage legislation and a gender-recognition law for trans people – despite huge resistance from its Orthodox Church, who said it would “destroy human beings”.
These legislative victories have been spurred by Athens’ growth as a hub for queer culture. Despite record levels of unemployment and emigration, artists and activists have been defying severe austerity measures and overcoming the Church’s ultra-conservative influence over Greek society. But defeating the widespread homophobia that still permeates its media, police and streets, requires a continuous fight on several fronts.