I spent a lot of time thinking of how to approach a subject such as the gay community and their demand for family rights. My first thought was to write a few positive paragraphs listing the facts and objecting the racism and any kind of discrimination against people. Mix it up with some of my photos and call it a day.
Unfortunately, I found that approach to be to cliche and I wanted something more interesting, unique. So I had this great idea of opening my essay with a very negative paragraph, explaining how much I hate this kind of events and closing it with the reasoning that these parades wouldn't be necessary if we lived in a world where people followed the simple rule of 'Live and let live'.
That was yesterday...
This morning, however, drinking my coffee at the beach, I noticed that I am surrounded by people who are so much different than me. Old, young, Greeks or foreigners, straight but some of them probably are gay and I'm pretty confident that there are a couple who have never had any sexual relationships with any gender. What is important though is that I don't care, nobody actually cares who you are or whom you sleep with. All it matters at the beach is how hot you look on that new bathing suit (but that's another subject to discuss at another time).
So here is my report of the 10th Athens Pride:
Saturday morning, I and a couple of photographers friends heard that there is a big party coming up in Athens, starting at Klauthmonos square at around 6 pm. It's a party of proud people since it's called Athens Pride and its main theme is Family. Sounds interesting? What's even more fascinating is that another 5000 or more people also heard about it and decided to join.
Well, there were some ambassadors and a mayor talking at the main stage, they seemed pretty nice and people liked them. They didn't make any political speeches, instead, they were talking about love, family and equality. A nice change for a country plagued by the financial crisis, that all you hear is money related debates.
It's a party of proud people since it's called Athens Pride and it's main theme is Family. Sounds interesting? What's even more fascinating is that another 5000 or more people also heard about it and decided to join.
At 7 pm a big parade started. People wore costumes or not (some of them actually wore very few clothes), they painted their faces with colours, they danced and danced again. Nothing uncommon for such a big party. There was the queen of the parade and the kings, too many kings, with messages written on their bodies, but they were one, they were proud.
A woman appeared out of nowhere. She didn't fit in. Her clothes were old, she was holding a picture of Christ and she didn't seem happy at all. I don't think she knew what the party was about, she couldn't have known that the theme of this gathering was love, equality and family, otherwise, she wouldn't be standing there asking people to repel from their sins and condemning them to hell. She didn't matter, nobody got upset with her. Instead, people tried to take photos with her, even asked her to join the party. Soon she was gone. Some people just can't stand having a good time.
A woman appeared out of nowhere. She didn't fit in.
Then there was this girl. She had beautiful eyes and wore red lipstick, yes you just saw her on the photo above.
What's great about being a photographer is that you have an ethical license to look at people. That's how you make a photo, you see, you admire and then you just click the shutter release. If any of these falls sort you can't make a good photo.
I saw her a couple of times and each time I took a photo of her. I am a firm believer of what they call photogenic. Don't get me wrong, all people are beautiful in a way or an another, but some just have this extra glow, physical and internal that makes a photo shine!
The parade continued all the way towards Syntagma square with its peak in front of the Greek parliament.
Oh, there were also a lot of policemen around. I've heard many saying that there are some anti-social people, that they simply can't stand big parties, not only that but they also don't like other people attending them. They sounded like Grinch from Dr Seuss that always tries to spoil the fun.
Still, it's very strange behaviour from a group that likes to call themselves after the name of a colour which is the symbol of glamour and socializing.
The parade finished where it started and an even bigger party took over. Singers, dancers and thousands of people enjoyed the night.
People just like me and you, not gays, straights, blacks or whites, just plain, usual people who drink, eat, fall in love, make love and some, one day, want to get married.
That's all it was, a big gathering of people, a party...