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Sexualities and public space in Greece: a celluloid quest

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Greece is a country that considers itself to be part of the Western civilization, though still a lot oriental elements exist in its culture and way of thinking. LGBT people are considered to be either invisible or pointed out as metaphorical or literal punch bag. So it was a surprise that a year after the first Athens Gay Pride (2005), two Greek movies appeared with homosexuality as their central theme. The first one 'The Blue Dress', a drama about the journey of a young boy till he turns into a woman, won six national cinema awards. The second one 'Straight Story', a comedy about a world were homosexuality is the normative and heterosexuality is the 'not normal', was the biggest box office success of the year. This paper uses the stereotypes portrayed in these two films in order to explore the spatial dimension of being gay in Greece. Both films place queer subjects in their narrative in a stereotyped even offensive way, but at the same point offer a very accurate image of how 'homosexuality' is perceived in Greece. Issues that become more and more obvious during the rise of the extreme right organizations and their entrance in the Greek parliament and the violence against gay men. The way these two films explore the subject of being gay in Greece, shows the difficulties of placing the 'queer' in public and raise a series of questions of the space available for different sexualities. By analysing these two films the paper shows how space is constructed regarding LGTB people and the limits created by a strong religious and patriarchal tradition reflected in the heteronormative and homonormative systems of this country.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-72
Number of pages8
JournalRevista Latino-Americana de Geografia e Gênero
Volume5
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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