A diplomat who carries memories of the emerald sea in her native Greece wherever she goes. Mother and grandmother, constantly overcoming great distance between Vilnius and Washington to visit her family. Aesthetic and promoter of cultural relations between Lithuania and Greece. A fighter who overcame all obstacles in order to fulfill her dream to bring an exhibition of an authentic antique marble bust of the great philosopher Aristotle from the Acropolis Museum in Athens to Lithuania. A keen supporter of LGBT communities worldwide. This incredible woman and prominent personality is Dr. Vassiliki Dicopoulou, H. E. Ambassador of Greece in Lithuania. We met the Ambassador in her residence, overlooking the Vilnius City Hall, where she explained why is it important to keep fighting for implementation of LGBT human rights in Lithuania.
Why is it important for you to support the Lithuanian LGBT community?
“I think it is important to support the LGBT communities all over the world, including the Lithuanian community. First of all, because I admire my friends in the LGBT communities all over the world for the fight they have already done in order to achieve their rights. Their achievements keep inspiring me. I would like to warmly congratulate LGBT people. For me they are an example of fighters, an example to follow. I support LGBT people, because I love them and because I do not see any reason not to support them. I do not believe in differences between people. We are all the same. We are all together and united fighting together for our rights and our welfare in our societies.”
We greatly cherish the support from foreign Embassies and Ambassadors. What we need now is support from the local politicians and decision makers.
“We have to continue to fight. It is not always easy. In small countries like Lithuania, in which societies remained for several years under different regimes and difficult conditions, it is sometimes not easy. It is even difficult to go very quickly and take progressive path immediately. I think they need a little bit more time. The transition might take more time than we could have expected. I think that one day governments all around the world will be obliged to ensure human rights for every LGBT individual. All states nowadays belong to bigger families of states, for example European Union, Council of Europe and United Nations. Fortunately, they have very strict policy on the recognition of the human rights, equality and they have rules which are in 80 percent of the cases mandatory for the member states to respect. Otherwise, they have sanctions. So, one day governments will be obliged to foster human rights and equality. Meanwhile they will need a little bit more time for the transition, because they still remain very “traditional” and conservative. I think that they need to be more pushed to embrace human rights and equality. I appreciate what your organization is doing in Lithuania. My advice for you would be to continue your fight and find ways to push politicians and decision makers.”
Which LGBT destination would you recommend Lithuanians to visit in Greece?
“My heart is in Mykonos. I have a house in Mykonos and I love this island very much. First of all, for its natural beauty and one of the best beaches in the world. The reason why I love it so much is not because I am Greek, but because Mykonos is really the most beautiful island in the world. It is not by chance that Mykonos is considered as an LGBT top destination all over the world. Since Ancient times Mykonos was the “kingdom” of enjoyment, freedom and recognition of all tendencies of this world. Today Mykonos manages to gather LGBT communities from all around the world. There is a song stating that New York is the city that never sleeps, but I would say that Mykonos is an island that never sleeps. Mykonos lives 24 hours a day. Not because it is crazy (it depends what is the meaning of crazy), but because life is there. Life in all senses of the word. And life for everybody.”
What is your message for the local LGBT community?
“Congratulations! I admire all members of LGBT communities, because they do a tremendous job. I wish them to continue with big success and luck. Above all, I wish love in their life. I believe in love. It is important to give love and to receive love. I am a mother and a grandmother. I love LGBT people as a mother. I would like to say to you: never stop. And I am not talking about the recognition of your rights, because it is for granted. We have succeeded in this. I have in mind consolidation of the recognition of you rights in respect of our own personality and in the name of the human dignity.”
Are you planning to join the “Baltic Pride” 2019 “March for Equality!” on June 8 in Vilnius?
“I really hope to be able to join it in case I will be in Vilnius. I am travelling very often, but because I love LGBT community so much, I will try to be here in Vilnius and participate in the march!”