Last December, the managers of Thessaloniki Pride, the Therapaizein group, the NGO Rainbow Families and students of the Department of Culture, Creative Media and Industries (University of Thessaly) jointly organized an initiative in order to combat gender stereotypes and enhance awareness regarding gender identity.
The event took place in Thessaloniki city and was attended by parents and children aged 3-13. Two drag queens read a fairytale titled “The Drag Queen who saved Christmas”, while children also had the chance to participate in interactive games. The goal of the fairytale, according to its
author, Konstantinos Maragos, is to make children acknowledge that they can play with any toy they want or choose any colour they prefer, regardless of their gender. The long-standing gender stereotypes regarding toys and colours socially identified as boyish and girlish are still powerful even if we are living in the second decade of the 21st century; however, for a free development of one’s personality, people from early childhood need to be able to express themselves, and not feel uncomfortable or guilty if their choices are different from what is considered socially acceptable or gender-“appropriate”.
Children’s response was highly positive, as in the previous similar event organized also in Thessaloniki in June 2022; they were impressed by the drag queens and listened absorbedly to the fairy tale. There was also a positive reaction from parents who wished to instill in their children the value of accepting and respecting diversity, and specifically gender diversity.
Unfortunately, despite the strong social message this initiative bears, the event and especially the presence of the drag queens among children raised strong reactions by certain groups of transphobic people.
This post contributed by All Inc’s Greek team of Maria and Vanna — ευχαριστώ πολύ, ομάδα!