Activities started on Saturday afternoon with the parade commencing at 6:30 pm and passing through the main streets of downtown Athens. Thousands of people paraded carrying placards and rainbow flags.
Following the colorful parade, the real party began with some of the most popular Greek singers performing on the big stage. Among them were Helena Paparizou, Onirama, Marseaux, Joanne, Iasonas Mandilas, and Katerina Vrana among others. The presenter of the show was Giorgos Kapoutzidis.
“Human rights are universal and non-negotiable,” it is announced on the event website. “As individuals, we are all born free, without distinction. We have the right to free speech, to education, to marriage, to have a family, to work and to be safe.”
The website draws people in by clearly pointing to the contradictions and social inequalities of what it means to belong to the LGBTQI+ community. “We can form a civil partnership, but we cannot get married. We can have children of our own but only as individuals. We can foster children but not adopt them. We can be free but only in our beds. We can feel safe but only if we hide,” it is written.
— Virginia V (@IamVirgenius) June 18, 2022
The LGBTQ+ community in Athens has been celebrating Pride since 2005 to raise public awareness.
First Athens Pride Held 2005
The first Athens Pride took place in Klafthmonos Square. Various events of pride had been held in the city since the mid-1980s, but Athens Pride 2005 marked the first Pride parade in the city center marching outside the Greek Parliament. An estimated 500 people attended the event.
Since 2005, Athens Pride has grown and developed, both in terms of participation and in terms of recognition and respect by Greek society, becoming an integral institution of the city and its people. Until 2016, Athens Pride took place in Klafthmonos Square. In 2017, it was organized for the first time in Syntagma Square.
Globally, most pride events occur annually, and some take place around June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City, a pivotal moment in modern LGBTQ+ social movements.
The parades seek to create community and honor the history of the movement. In 1970, pride and protest marches were held in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco around the first anniversary of Stonewall. The events became annual and grew internationally.