Nicholas Yatromanolakis made history in Greece on January 4, when he
was named in his new role as Deputy Minister of Culture, which makes him the first openly gay minister in the country’s history.
44 year old Yatromanolakis was granted his new role as part of a cabinet reshuffle by the centre-right government. The new role represents a promotion from his previous position as General Secretary of Contemporary Culture at the same department – another time he made history as the highest serving openly gay politician in Greece!
The new Deputy Minster of Culture is a native of Athens. He has a Masters in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Massachusetts in the United States.
On his Instagram profile, Yatromanolakis mentions he’s a dad to Patrick the ginger cat and Vrasidas the rescue dog, uses ‘he/him’ pronouns. Politically he tends to focus on LGBTQI and human rights, the mental and physical health of children and the social inclusion of vulnerable and marginalised populations.
While modern Greece is considered one of the more liberal countries in Southeast Europe, marriage equality is actually not a thing there. Same sex civil unions are recognised and same-sex couples in a civil partnership may become foster parents but they cannot adopt children, though LGBTQI individuals may adopt.
Ancient Greece has an even more complicated back story when it comes to the history of homosexuality in it’s society. Adult men did have sexual relations with each other in Ancient Greece but these relationships, especially between men of similar social statuses were usually seen as problematic – though the attached stigma was usually reserved for the ‘passive’ partner in the relationship.
Australia’s LGBTQI politicians
Contemporary Australia’s history of gay representation in politics is somewhat rosier, though there is still a ways to go. As reported by the Star Observer at the end of 2020, there were 29 openly LGBTQI candidates elected to 20 local councils across Victoria and in October 2020 “Australia’s first and only openly gay head of state or territory, Andrew Barr, led the Labor party to victory for a sixth consecutive term in the 2020 ACT elections”