Queer activist murdered in Greece

LGBT activist and drag performer Zak Kostopoulos
LGBT activist and drag performer Zak Kostopoulos.
Activist and drag performer Zak Kostopoulos is dead

LGBT activist and drag performer Zak Kostopoulos was kicked to death in Athens on Friday by two men as a crowd watched. Greek media has reported that Kostopoulos had died in an accident following an attempted robbery of a jewelry store in the Greek capital.

Social media has disputed the initial media reports. Kostopoulos’s Facebook page has been turned into a virtual memorial. Reportedly, Kostopoulos was seeking a safe place to escape a fight happening on the street. He became trapped inside the jewelry store’s door space when the security door closed automatically. Video shows Kostopoulos breaking the window with a fire extinguisher to free himself, with the shop owner chasing him. The owner and another man beat him to death. Police were putting Kostopoulos in handcuffs when they arrived on scene.

He later died en route to the hospital from his injuries. The shop owner was arrested while the other man is being sought.

Kostopoulos, a popular drag queen who performed under the name Jackie Oh, spent most of his career speaking out against the stigma around HIV. He was an active member of Positive Voice, a Greek HIV Positive association.

J.L. Gaynor
Out In Jersey magazine contributor J.L. Gaynor spent eight years in the newsrooms of two major New Jersey papers. A Jersey girl through and through: born, raised, and educated in New Jersey. Jen now lives in Maryland and has two dogs she adores, and reads just about anything she can get her hands on.