11th Thessaloniki Pride poster, I belong to me, 19-24 June 2023

11th Thessaloniki Pride

In recent times, we have witnessed increasingly ludicrous situations, often the product of imported alt right trends, that attempt to impose restrictions on how we manage our bodies, threatening decades of progress. They want to tell us what gender we are, if and when we’ll have children, if we should gain or lose weight, if we have the right to refuse sexual intercourse, what we do with our hair and how we will intervene in our body and appearance. It’s funny that the same circles that regard sex reassignment surgery as unacceptable, support involuntary “corrective” surgery on intersex people as necessary, even when there is no medical reason.

We respond to this with our motto of the 11th Thessaloniki Pride, “I BELONG TO ME”. Our bodies and lives belong to us. The decision on how to manage them is exclusively ours and no third person or even any government or other authority has a say. “I belong to me” says every person who finds the strength to report the rape or harassment they have experienced or even to defend against any such attempt. “I belong to me” say the women in Iran who cut their hair and remove their headscarves, resisting a totalitarian and theocratic regime, who under the guise of religion wish to intervene in their bodies (similar to all fundamentalists across the world). “I belong to me” say disabled people who claim accessibility in an urban landscape full of exclusions, because they are not considered equal, but “defective”. “I belong to me” says every person who consents to sexual intercourse with another consenting adult or adults, who withdraws that consent or who does not give it in the first place.

That is why again in Thessaloniki from 19 to 24 June 2023, we unite our voices resolutely to promote the values of autonomy and self-determination of the body in an environment of respect, love and inclusion. We claim respect for self-determination, our choices and boundaries, and inclusive spaces in all areas. A week full of events for all ages will culminate on Saturday 24th June at 18:00 with the great Pride march, which will start from the TIF South Gate at YMCA Sq. (and not from the White Tower as usual), as this year’s Pride is, among else, a prequel for the long-awaited EuroPride 2024 that will be hosted next year in our city. 

The detailed festival program can be found here.