I was in my early teens when I recognised my sexuality and told my family that I was gay. To my surprise, they weren’t really shocked. In fact, it was business as usual the next day ('Get the vacuum out, son!'). Looking back, I attribute this positive coming-out experience to my big sister, Eleni — she has always offered me unconditional love and support, and shielded me at times when I was most vulnerable. The acceptance and love that I felt from my immediate family was not echoed in parts of the broader Greek community and my extended family. There were moments at Greek school, and other events, that were particularly difficult for me to navigate. I was bullied, harassed and discriminated against for simply being myself. I was lucky to have supportive friends, family and (most importantly) a community that healed and empowered me through those dark times.
Despite my challenges (which many members of the LGBTQ+ community still face), I came out stronger and more determined than ever to live as my true self. This is what pride means to me: living life truthfully and with freedom. As a lawyer, I recognise I am in a privileged position to effect change and have a duty to give back to my community. We cannot forget that the rights, liberties and freedoms we enjoy today came at the cost of previous generations' struggle and pain in pursuit of equality. During Pride Month, I stand in solidarity with my community and reflect on how I can make a difference in protecting the next generation.