ep.2 the greek transgender support association

Meet our community partners blog series!

Hello everyone! This is the second episode of our new blog series dedicated to Ecce Homo’s community partners, that is, all those non-profit LGBTIQ+ organizations around the world that are proud members of our Corporate Social Responsibility program! Last week, I introduced you to ‘Positive Voice’, the Greek Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS, and their initiatives regarding sexual health. This week is all about the trans members of our colorful queer family. Our partner to this journey is the Greek Transgender Support Association, the only trans -non-profit- organization of its kind in Greece. In what follows, we are going to familiarize ourselves with their history, their objectives, and the invaluable programs they run. I want to remind you once again that this blog series is part of Ecce Homo’s long-term engagement to promote the visibility of its community allies by taking up the role of media sponsor. In addition, I hope it constitutes an opportunity for our customers and friends to be kept informed of the activities of the organizations they choose to support via their purchase, ensuring this way both their active engagement and the non-negotiable transparency of our CSR program.

To begin with, the Greek Transgender Support Association is a volunteer-based nationwide NGO founded in 2010. Its goal is to promote the equal treatment of all Greek people based on their gender identity and gender expression or characteristics, the abolition of all forms of discrimination that trans and intersex people face on a daily basis, and the development of a solidarity network via publications and online material, public events and debates, the constitution of scientific and advisory committees, and the organization of conferences and workshops. 

Among the rights they claim are the following:

  • The legal recognition of gender identity, and the ability to change legal documents via simple, quick, transparent, and extrajudicial legal processes based solely on the self-determination of each person and without any limitations regarding marital life and parenthood. Such a right should not be dependent on sterilization, gender-affirming procedures, medical or pharmacological treatments, or psychiatric evaluations.
  •  The extension of the protection of the already existing laws in order to include cases of discrimination against gender-nonconforming persons in the workplace, provision of services (public and private), rental housing, health, and education.
  • The right of every transgender person to have gender-affirming treatments and procedures, such as surgery, free of charge through the public health insurance plan, and the lifting of barriers to health care reported by transgender individuals. 
  • The right to gender-affirming treatments and procedures, and to psychosocial support as a basic human right following the French legislation on the matter. In this context, they fight for the legal prohibition of the so-called ‘conversion therapies’ regarding both the sexual and gender identity, and the removal of trans identity from the official lists of mental health disorders.    
  • The legal ban on gender reassignment surgeries on intersex persons without their explicit and informed consent.        
  • The drafting of guidelines of good practice regarding gender and sexuality issues for all public employees, like the medical and teaching staff, migration officers, etc.        
  • The revision of the current Greek family law, especially when it comes to marriage and adoption regarding transgender individuals. 

The Greek Transgender Support Association also fights:  

  •  Against the stigmatization of sex work, and in favor of the legal regulation of the latter as any other type of employment.   
  • For the protection of the gender-nonconforming refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers.    
  • Against the types of discrimination trans people face as prisoners or detainees. 
  • For the criminalization of hate speech on the basis of gender and sexual identity.

Two of the most sought-after services they provide for free to the members of the trans community are the group of psychological support and self-awareness, and the secretariat of support to the ones seeking asylum and international protection. Regarding the first one, the Association works closely with volunteer psychologists to create a safe space where trans individuals can discuss openly issues such as their gender and sexual identity and expression, their transition experiences that might help others navigate the transition process, their coming-out, trans parenthood, etc. When it comes to trans asylum seekers, the Association provides free legal counseling and psychological support throughout the legal proceedings. Furthermore, among its recent initiatives are the campaign ‘Breaking the Silence’ and the ‘Help at Home’ program.   

For more information, please visit their website (available in Greek), Facebook, and Twitter.