The Greek capital Athens, steeped in ancient history, has a plethora of wonders to discover. The city is overlooked by the ruins of the Parthenon, a temple to the warrior goddess Athena. If this doesn't scream the equality, diversity and acceptance of the ancient Greeks, I don't know what does. But for fun, I can't help but add the fact that Mount Olympus was basically a raging orgy across the entire LGBTQ+ spectrum, you've also got the Patron of Lesbians with Aphrodite Goddess of Love and of course, Hades, the absolute Queen of Sass.
If that's not tickling your fancy, Athens also has the site of the first modern Olympic Games (unfortunately no longer done naked), but you've also got the Monastiraki markets which is surrounded by traditional tavernas and restaurants. Honestly, if we started listing all the incredible Greek dishes you could have here you'd be reading forever and wouldn't even get the chance to visit.
Modern day Athens is not quite as "in your face" as ancient times, the LGBTQ nightlife is mainly centred in the trendy Gazi district, but you'll certainly know it when you find it!
The Greeks really like to make a night of things, with a long dinner and drinks lasting late into the evening, a cheeky few in tavernas, hitting the clubs after midnight and letting loose until the sun comes up. A lot of the cafes double as bars for you to hang out in and warm up for dancing the night away in the clubs. As for those, there's a few big names you don't want to miss out on!
The biggest club that's 100% worth waiting in the queue for is Sodade2, with two separate stages for pop and trance, it's one hell of a party! If you're a bear or a chaser, then definitely head over to the Big Bar. The finale of the night is at MOE, where everyone gathers for one last round of drinks and one last booty shake, though you'll probably be listening to Greek pop, you'll probably have had enough drink you'll sing along anyway!
Greece has come a long way in liberating its LGBT community, but it still has a long way to go. In 2018, ILGA-Europe assessed 49 European countries on gay rights and Greece was found to have the highest improvements. Here are a few LGBT highlights that should be celebrated:
- Homosexual activity between males has been legal since 1951, whereas female homosexuality has always been legal (and by legal, we mean ignored entirely which in this case is great!).
- Discrimination in the workplace has been illegal since 2005.
- Same-sex couples are allowed to enter a civil union.
- LGBT peeps are allowed to serve in the military.
We wish we could jump on the LGBT movement in Greece’s back and shout GIDDY UP but everyone has to start somewhere and we’re super proud of the progress Greece is making. In terms of gay culture, the country has already made it with proud cities like Athens leading the way! 🌈