PRESS RELEASE: “Drama school rejects a trans man because of his gender identity”.

PRESS RELEASE: “Drama school rejects a trans man because of his gender identity”.

Athens, January 12, 2015
Greek Transgender Support Association (G.T.S.A.), a recognized organization for the protection of the rights of the trans community, informs with this press release about the case of a trans man who became the subject of a very serious transphobic discrimination when he was rejected from the Dramatic Art Theatre School because of his gender identity.

More specifically: L.M. a trans man gave examinations at the Dramatic Art Theatre School. Then after calling the school’s secretariat in order to find out about the results, he was informed that Mr. Diagoras Chronopoulos, the manager of the school, had asked to see him. They met on October 15 where director of the school argued that there might be issues with some of the teachers because “of their conservative views and therefore he was not accepted in the school”, plus that “there may be other problems with his fellow students who could start talking not so pleasantly about him and that he, himself, may not tolerate such a climate in the classroom”.

Moreover, Mr. Chronopoulos, asked about the medical treatments he was intended to go, arguing that these interventions “would not be so successful because no matter what he was about to do, he could not become a father and have children”, and thus violated the trans man’s right to privacy making clear that the trans man was discriminatory rejected on the grounds of his gender identity. When L. M. argued that he was going to undergo further medical treatments, the director’s advised him to “finish with all the gender reassignment treatments first and that the school would hold open his position until next year”.

It must be noted here that the members of the Board of Directors of the Greek Theatre Company in their answer to the complaint letter of L.M. addressed him in a female name and identity and argued that the discussion with Mr. Chronopoulos was “a totally private issue and basically outside of the candidates selection process”. In short, the BoD did not deny the extremely revealing and discriminatory discussion between L.M. and the school’s manager, which was also revealing about the true reasons behind the rejection L.M. on grounds of gender identity.

All the above are a direct violation of Law. 3896/2010 (implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment based on gender in employment, including career development, and vocational training). More specifically, the law explicitly states in Article 3, par. 2 and subparagraph b that:

“Discrimination on the grounds of gender is also any less favorable treatment of a person due to gender reassignment treatment”.

Furthermore, the Greek Ombudsman in the Diversity Guide to Combat Discrimination states that: «We need a thorough understanding of the concept of gender identity and a respect to the way everyone perceives her/his gender identity, regardless of the name and gender written in the Identity Card or in any other official document. In case such an issue comes under publicity, the authorities must follow the same procedures as with every other citizen”.

The Greek Transgender Support Association (G.T.S.A.) condemns any form of discrimination based on gender identity, fully supports L.M. on this issue, and calls the Board of Directors of the Dramatic Art Theatre School to keep the letter of the laws. Furthermore, the association reserves every right it has on this issue.

Discrimination on the grounds of gender identity cannot be tolerated in a democratic society.

29 Syggrou Avenue, 1st Floor, Athens, GR 11743

~ από Σωματείο Υποστήριξης Διεμφυλικών στο 13 Ιανουαρίου, 2015.

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