I had the honour to kick off the speeches of Athens Pride 2023 this June 10th on Kotzia square, Athens. I had been invited to do so by Proud Seniors Greece, of which group I am an honorary member.
The original Pride video is also about Once upon a time. In a Cinderella themed short, she runs through the streets, loses a pump, and tells “in my reality we have to run to survive” . More people join running and say : “We take to the streets to be called by my proper name, to love in freedom, to be truly accepted, so that my family truly accepts me, so I can live in safety, to survive. So that we can say one day: I fought and I won.”
I interpreted the images of people running with TL lamps flickering as a metro station, also because they talk about going and the 12 o’clock reference. No coach these days, must be a metro. Slightly beyond the story, but hey: artistic creativity 😉
Once upon a time .. Cinderella almost missed her train back to the future because some ridiculous cis guys were bothering her thinking they had a right to harass her. Once upon a time Cinderella was fighting the fucking cops in Exarchia because they murdered Zackie Oh.
Hello Athens Pride
I am so happy that we are here.
With so many.
In all our colours, in all our sexes,
in all our genders, in all our sexualities
And in all our gender expressions.
Demanding and celebrating.
Celebrating that we still exist.
Demanding justice for all who are attacked or killed.
Demanding accountability from the state. From the church.
From the population.
Because we have rights.
I am vreer. I represent Proud Seniors Greece.
I also represent Transgender Europe, the European and Central Asian Trans peoples Rights Organisation. Transgender Europe is a network of organisations of trans and non binary and gender diverse people. We fight in the international political theater.
Al over the world trans people are in a very bad situation. In many places we hardly have any recognition. In many places we cannot live our true lives.
Thanks to the religious right and to stinking rich bastards, states try to push us back. They want to go back to a past that has never existed. They attack on all fronts with the speed of light.
In Greece trans people are practically without rights. We get beaten up and we are hated by many people. We are not understood and we are hated even more as non-binary and gender diverse people..
When you are both queer and older, that poses a lot of other issues. Many of us are afraid we have to go back into the closet when we are old. Will be treated badly, be forgotten by our straight cis families. Here I want to ask Athens Pride organisation: why are there only young people in your campaign ? Include older people! We have been fighting for the rights you now have. And we are part of the community anyway. Or do we only count if we are considered fuckable? If you only knew …
We are here to demand our rights. It should not matter which government is in power. Also prime minister Mitsotakis has to obey international treaties. Rights Are Rights and rights apply to everybody. Greece has subscribed to many European and international treaties, but it costs ship loads of energy to get any equality as trans, non-binary and gender diverse people.
(Instead of banning Pride from Syntagma square because of their fucking kiosk, ND better had guaranteed our rights. Not we need to change squares! They do! We should have just surrounded that fucking blue kiosque)
Once upon a time Cinderella almost missed the train to the future. She lost her shoe because she had to fight off some cis guys who thought they had a right to her body. Once upon a time Cinderella was fighting the fucking cops in Exarchia because they murdered Zackie Oh.
We need to fight together and that means that the well-off among you have to support the sex workers, the migrants and refugees, the trans, non-binary and gender diverse people.
Once upon a time we will be recognised as who we are, the most despised, the undocumented refugee and the sex worker will be the first to mount the train towards that future. Other trans and non-binary people will follow directly.
Pride was always a protest. And these big donors are not our friends. These days we should hold large marches full of anger, and build power together. Organise a queer strike: I can’t come to work today, I’m queer! Fuck this capitalist shit
We need queer joy as an answer. Living our lives to the fullest that we can, flouting the straights embarrassment, is the best/sweetest revenge.You can try to cut all the flowers. But you cannot detain Spring.
Once upon a time is NOW.