The smiles were infectious. I arrived at Athens Pride, which took place this past Saturday, June 13, at just past 6pm after a day of sightseeing. The sun was still blazing down—this is Greece, after all. The sun wouldn’t set for another three or four hours, but it was clear that the party had already started.

Something about walking around with a big camera around your neck just makes people stop and look at you—often in a good way. Imagine at a celebratory pride festival with live music and people dancing in the streets—the happiness levels were amplified. So while I was moving through Klafthomonos Square in central Athens (along Stadiou Street), I didn’t struggle to catch people’s attention. Even while there were professional dancers on stage, the audience broke out in their own sequenced routines to pop songs—out of synch, obviously, but that didn’t matter.

Athens LGBT Pride 2015

This past weekend, Athens celebrated their 11th annual pride with a day full of festivities. Most things picked up in the late afternoon with local organizations setting up stands promoting their diverse causes. A stage was the scene of live performers and speeches —including the official commencement of the parade from the mayor of Athens. Things didn’t shut down until almost 3 a.m. at the gay pride, though the city’s relatively big variety of gay and lesbian bars meant the party could continue on much later.

The scene at the Athens Pride was largely celebratory, but politics were definitely in play. Thirteen international ambassadors were present and the theme of the entire pride day was “take a stand”—a nice nod to the work still to be done for equal rights in Greece. In fact, the country’s government will soon be voting on a bill to acknowledge civil partnerships for same-sex couples. Things are changing around the world, and here in Athens this weekend, it was clear that this tidal wave of equality was sweeping through the city. The Saturday Athens Pride saw an estimated 32,000 people at the event—more than in any previous year.

In fact, in an interview with Gay Star News at the event, the Regional Governor of Attica, Rena Dourou said: “Now we have one day of year where we are shouting we are proud… Still we have a lot of things to do for the human rights against any kind of discrimination.”

And from the looks of the activists and participants at this year’s 2015 Athens Pride, it certainly seems like these are moving forward. As I wrote earlier this Pride Month—this is clearly going to be the gayest summer ever. And I couldn’t think of a better place to celebrate than in Athens, where homosexuality has long been a part of the culture since ancient Greece.

View more about Athens Pride on their official website, or see additional photos on Facebook. Special thanks to Homo Evolution for helping to organize this trip to Athens.

Athens Pride 2015 - Gay Travel Photos

Athens Gay Pride

Athens LGBT Pride 2015

Gay Athens

Athens LGBT Pride 2015

Athens LGBT Pride 2015
When I asked her what the sign said, she yelled out “I love gay guys!” I replied with the same ;)

Athens LGBT Pride 2015

Athens - Blue Sky

Athens LGBT Pride 2015

Athens LGBT Pride 2015

Athens LGBT Pride 2015

Athens Pride

Athens LGBT Pride 2015

Athens LGBT Pride

Human Rights are My Gay Pride

Athens LGBT Pride 2015

Athens LGBT Pride 2015

Athens LGBT Pride 2015

Athens LGBT Pride 2015

Athens LGBT Pride 2015

Athens LGBT Pride 2015

Athens LGBT Pride 2015

Athens LGBT Pride 2015

View more gay travel stories and photos here.

Also, for even more #gaytravel updates from Europe this summer — make sure you’re following me on Twitter and Instagram where I’m sharing photos from all the gay festivals and events I’m attending (which there are many!).

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  1. Pingback: Outview Film Festival - Greece Gay Film Festival

  2. Excellent show Athens put on … wish I was there!

  3. Stefan

    Ha ha that sign made me burst out laughing! “Σ´ΑΓΑΠΩ ΡΕ ΠΌΥΣΤΗ”

    In Greek πούστη (pou-sti) is quite a nasty word when used in insult, literally meaning poofta. I love how these youths were using this positively to twist it.

    And it’s also really lovely to witness the pace of change in Greece for gay rights, despite negative influence of the very homophobic Greek Orthodox Church (I would still never dare come out to my family in Greece!)

  4. Hey Adam,
    Nice clicks. Sounds you enjoyed a lot there :)

    • Thanks Veronica!

  5. Marilia: wanderingislander.com

    So glad to see so many people attending the Athens pride.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Marilia: wanderingislander

    • Thanks Marilia – It was a pretty impressive event. I’ve been to several different types of pride festivals in the past: some are more like a party, others are more community events focused on politics. And Athens Pride felt like a mix of both – the best of both worlds!

  6. Howdy neighbor from Crete!! This pride festival looks like a lot of fun I wish I could have attended! I actually stumbled upon a mj legalization festival in Athens just a few weeks ago while I was there so your photos brought back memories. It’s good to see to Greek people smiling and happy instead of worrying about the economy for a change. Everyone deserves a little fun hapiness and of course equality in their lives. :-) thanks for sharing!
    Katie

    • Hi Katie,
      Thanks for the comment – I imagine that there are quite a few political demonstrations that occur regularly in Greece these days. Hopefully they’ll lead to some changes!

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