Irene Petropoulou, Grant Awarded 1994
I received a Hellman-Hammett grant in 1994 for my work with an LGBT magazine in Greece called Amphi. I was the editor-in-chief of the magazine, which published articles written by LGBT people about gay life in Greece. In 1990, the government charged Amphi with “indecency against public morality.” In Greece, when a conservative government wants to make your life difficult, they start with your public image. This particular charge related to a very brief article we published which discussed how some straight men took out ads in our magazine looking to meet lesbian women. We made fun of this and wrote, “What are we, exotic fruit?” We weren’t the ones advertising for sex, but still we were charged with indecency. Since everyone in the Greek LGBT movement worked on a volunteer basis, I had to take on the cost of the court charge myself. I took out a loan from a friend to pay for some of the expenses, and the Hellman-Hammett grant enabled me to pay back this loan.