Women We Love 2022: Maria Cyber

Maria Katsikadakou, aka Maria Cyber

by Ria Mort

Maria Katsikadakou, aka Maria Cyber, has been using her voice for decades to fight for equal recognition and rights for Greece’s LGBTQ+ community. “I have always been speaking on behalf of those that didn’t have a voice,” she tells GO. Even as a small child, Cyber felt “it was a moral obligation to not stay silent.” Her courage and activism have undoubtedly changed the lives of countless people in Greece and around the world. But it hasn’t always been easy for Cyber. In the early 2000s, the radio station for which she produced the Athens Gay and Lesbian Show was sued by the Greek National Council for Radio & Television, and the show was removed from the air. Cyber didn’t let this silence her. Determined to continue her work to elevate the queer community, she and a friend co-created Mind Radio: the first-ever user-generated web radio station in Greece. Mind Radio went on to win gold in the Ermis Awards, which celebrate creativity in communication. Cyber is currently channeling her courage into her health as she navigates life with cancer, but facing a life-threatening disease hasn’t slowed her down. If any- thing, it’s inspired her to encourage others to talk openly about end-of-life care, a subject that is taboo in Greece. She’s also gleaned wisdom in facing her own mortality. “I realize how important it is to be present in every minute of your life,” she says. After helping many LGBTQ+ people exhibit their work over the years, Cyber decided it was time to display her own. She is curating a lesbian pornography photo book comprised of images she’s taken over the years with her past lovers. –LC

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