The It Gets Better Project is proud to announce the launch of the newest addition to our international network of affiliates around the world, It Gets Better ΕλλÎ¬δα (Greece)! This will be the 7th permanent affiliate installment in Europe (following the creation of projects in Portugal, Switzerland, Italy, Moldova, Austria, and Spain) and our first in the Balkan Region.
Postive changes have been made in Greece over the past 2 decades, changes that have given a great amount of hope to the local LGBTI community. Most recently the government has been gradually building a legal shield for Greek LGBTI people. Since 2005, anti-LGBTI discrimination in the workplace has been prohibited and in 2014, a new anti-discrimination law was introduced that penalizes some forms of hate speech that target sexual orientation and gender identity.
Now, the recently elected Greek government is considered to be pro-LGBTI, and soon it will start the process for the long-awaited legalization of same sex civil unions.Even though homosexuality has been a taboo for the Greek society for many years, recent surveys show that Greeks are becoming more and more accepting of same sex couples and their rights. And, surprisingly to many people, this year Greece has seen the first opinion poll ever showing majority support for same sex marriage, which shows that Greece is progressing and is ready to embrace even greater changes that are about to come for LGBTI people.
Not to mention, over the past 11 years the LGBTI activist community in Greece has lead Pride events in 3 major cities across the country: Athens, Thessaloniki and Heraklion (Crete). Thousands of people participate every June, and large numbers of LGBTI nonprofit organizations and groups are forming in many cities. LGBTI people and their allies are willing to push things forward, reassuring a safe and bright future for the LGBTI community and youth in Greece.
But despite the victories of the LGBTI movement in Greece, there are still many fights to be won. The Greek crisis has given ground for the rise of the fascist political party that strongly opposes social progress and innovation. Hate speech from many politicians and representatives of the Greek Orthodox Church has been frequent, and alongside the conservative part of the society that still disapproves of LGBTI culture and identities, this is one of the main factors that discourages LGBTI youth. Bullying at schools and sometimes even violence are also some of the main challenges for the LGBTI community and youth in the country.
That’s why there couldn’t be a better moment than now for the It Gets Better Project and It Gets Better Greece to take action together. Activists from various Greek LGBTI organizations – including Thessaloniki Pride, OLKE, and Antivirus Magazine – have joined forces to support the Project in coming to the country, and in adjusting It Gets Better Greece to the uniqueness of the Greek culture. We are excited to work together with these groups to provide a safe environment for Greece’s LGBTI youth. As always, we will show them the high levels of happiness they can reach in their lives despite the hardships and obstacles they may face. #ItGetsBetter
You can learn more about It Gets Better ΕλλÎ¬δα (and what you can do to help) by following them on social media using the links below. And don’t forget to ‘like’ and ‘share’ their posts!
To find out more about our other international affiliate projects in Europe and around the world, go to itgetsbetter.org/international. If you’re interested in donating, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.