Meet Thanos Vlachogiannis, one of the organizers of Thessaloniki Pride.
On June 28th, 1969 the Stonewall Riots kicked off a larger gay rights movement in the USA.
In 1970, the first gay pride marches took place in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago – today pride parades are taking place all around the world.
In 2018, I wanted to know who the people organizing today’s pride parades are, what the marches mean to them, and met wonderfully powerful, loving and kind people from places, which might not be the first ones that come to mind, when we think of queer love.
See all Faces of Pride.
What’s your name and age? Thanos Vlachogiannis, 37 y.o.
Since when have you been involved with Thessaloniki Pride? Since 2012, I’m a founding member.
Why do you think Prides are important? Pride events are important because they bring visibility that reduces homophobia and transphobia and combats the negative stereotypes still LGBTQI people suffer from. In many countries like Greece, Prides are used as a lever to promote LGBTI rights and satisfy the institutional claims of the LGBTQI community by addressing the governments and exerting pressure on politicians. Above all, Prides empower and give a huge boost to the self-conﬁdence of LGBTI people, while they provide a safe space for them for self-expression.
What is one (or two) remarkable thing(s) that has/have happened at Thessaloniki Pride? I think the most remarkable thing is the decision of the European Pride Organisers Association to appoint Thessaloniki Pride to host EuroPride 2020.
What do you do when you’re not organizing Thessaloniki Pride? In those very few moments, I try to eat well and exercise. 🙂
What’s one of your favourite pastimes? I cannot have a favourite one. Every Pride event is filled with so many emotions by so many personal stories from people that reach out to us telling us how much Pride has changed their lives.
Is there something you would like to say to the rest of the LGBT+ community?
Never give up, it gets better and better!
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Not different, just love
How do you feel when it comes to dealing with our emotions, expectations and responsibilities, around coming out, living as a LGBTIQ+ person and when it comes to our families and love in general?