Nicholas Yatromanolakis has become the first ever openly gay cabinet minister in Greece after he was named deputy minister of culture on Monday (4 January).
Yatromanolakis was promoted from his previous role of general secretary at the ministry as a part of prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ cabinet reshuffle.
The prime minister left most key cabinet officials in place, with both the ministers for health and finance remaining in their positions, the Associated Press reports.
Yatromanolakis and other ministers in the centre-right government will be sworn in on Tuesday, according to local media reports.
The new deputy minister of culture has been a vocal supporter of LGBT+ rights throughout his career, according to Greek website Ta Nea.
LGBT+ people have celebrated the promotion of Nicholas Yatromanolakis
His appointment has been heralded as a victory for LGBT+ visibility, with many praising the deputy minister of culture for representing queer people at the highest echelons of Greek politics.
A historic day for LGBTI+ representation and a big win for meritocracy and better decision-making through diversity. Congrats to Nicholas Yatromanolakis for showing you can be yourself and still succeed. May others draw strength to live their life openly. https://t.co/jTA1E0Y8Eo
— Alex Patelis (@PatelisAlex) January 4, 2021
Nicholas Yatromanolakis was just appointed as a Deputy Minister of Culture (in Greece), breaking a historic barrier.
Inclusivity fosters better decision making, a thread 👇 https://t.co/Uzl0f5MLdi
— Angeliki Tzouganatou (@antzouganatou) January 4, 2021
Breaking another historic barrier, Nicholas Yatromanolakis has just been appointed as a Deputy Minister of Culture.
— The Greek Analyst (@GreekAnalyst) January 4, 2021
Yatromanolakis, who regularly posts snaps of his rescue dog Vrasidas and his cat Patrick on Instagram, studied political science and international relations at Panteion University in Greece, before heading to the United States for a master’s in public policy from Harvard.
Throughout his time in government, Yatromanolakis has advocated for the rights of children and has advocated for the advancement of LGBT+ rights.
He has also been vocal in urging Greeks to wear face masks in public in an effort to stem rising coronavirus cases.
Yatromanolakis’ appointment comes after several years of advancements in LGBT+ rights in Greece. Same-sex unions have been legally recognised since 2015 – however, full marriage equality is not yet a reality.
There was also a significant advancement in trans rights in 2017, when transgender people were finally granted the right to have their gender legally recognised without undergoing gender affirmation surgery.