All posts by General Mgrm

Rainbow Bridge: Call for Documentary Production

The project involves the production of a documentary with the aim of providing an insight into LGBT+ migrants everyday lives in Malta so that the viewer is presented with the human aspect and the struggles of LGBT+ migrants. It will also serve as an educational tool following a long vacuum of information regarding this topic.

The documentary will put a spotlight on a number (4 to 6 individuals) of LGBT+ migrants coming from different countries and cultures. We aim to have a diverse spectrum of people to give full visibility to a wide range of people in the migrant community; people that reached the Maltese shores by boat, by airplane, coming from different countries, contests and experiences. 

Aims

The LGBT+ migrant community is one of the most vulnerable groups in society because they face racism and also homo/trans phobia both from the hosting population and their home country community. This group faces safety issues in detention and open-centres while also facing administrative hurdles in their request for asylum. This documentary will seek to give LGBT+ migrants a voice by telling their stories, the challenges they met and are still meeting but also their hopes and dreams for the future. 

The priorities therefore are to:

  • Create an education and awareness raising tool of high quality;
  • To engage a diverse range of LGBT+ migrant individuals and to engage them in the telling 
  • To focus on the resilience, courage and humanity of migrant individuals;
  • To facilitate use of the resource through dissemination and the production of accompanying guidance notes as well as the use of subtitles;

Some of the themes the documentary seeks to portray are:

  • What were the reasons that drove the individuals to leave their country?
  • What were the major challenges to arrive in a safe country?
  • What are the problems in the host country as an LGBT+ migrant?
  • What does the future look like?

Q: With reference to the open call for Building Bridges documentary, is it possible to quote for just a component of the Production?

A:  The quote submitted must cover all aspects covered in the expression of interest. However, it is possible to form a partnership or to subcontract parts of the job so long as it is clear who is doing what and who is ultimately responsible for the submission of the final product.

Timeline

Call Application Deadline29th September 
Contracting of selected service provider6th October
Approval of Storyboard18th October
First Cut20th January
Final Cut28th February 

Terms of Reference 

1. Production Pre-Production / Production – Development of Story Board and Script 

2. Filming Sit down interviews 

3. Filming Day in the life filming of 4 to 6 individuals 

4. Editing 30 minute to 40 minute Documentary 

5. Audio Voice Over recording sessions 

6. Stock Music Tracks Royalty Fee 

7.Graphics Titles + Subtitles Quote should include all filming and production costs including equipment and studio time. 

Eligibility Criteria

Bidders must submit a CV and portfolio with relevant experience within the film industry and should demonstrate ability to produce the work being contracted to the high quality being sought. 

Selection Criteria 

Quality of portfolio presented; 

Knowledge of LGBTIQ and migrants’ issues and LGBTIQ affirmative approach; 

Technical and Financial Bid; 

Budget 

Maximum funding available is of Eur 9,000 inclusive of VAT. 

Intellectual Property All intellectual property rights related to the Documentary belong to MGRM. 

Subcontracting 

Individuals may propose working jointly with one or more persons given the tight deadlines envisaged. This must be clearly stated in their submission. Bidders are to attach CV’s of each expert. 

Following the adjudication, any subcontracting to third parties other than the selected service provider/s needs to be approved in writing by MGRM other than for technical elements such as translations or proof reading. 

Bids are to be sent to MGRM on mgrm@maltagayrights.org. For any queries please contact Alex Caruana on +356 99255559. Deadline for quotes is 29 September 2020.

Acting on the Margins – Arts as Social Sculpture

MGRM and HIV Malta in collaboration with a research team from the University of Malta is conducting a study that aims to explore the stigma of people living with HIV in Malta and in this way, demystify issues related to HIV. The main objective of this study is to increase awareness of this significant social issue through collaboration with MGRM, people affected with HIV and artists.

You are invited to complete an anonymous online survey, which is expected to take approximately 10 minutes. Your participation in this study is voluntary, and does not involve any known or anticipated risks. You are free to stop participating at any time without any consequences. You may also choose to partially complete any question before moving on to the next one. Before you submit the survey, you may review and modify your answers.

You will find information on further participation in this study at the end of the survey.

Please complete the survey by 25th August 2020

Please click on this link to take the survey LINK:

https://www.surveylab.com/pageTag/SurveyCampaign/cId/f0281f9e2326d8c571e5dd43843fb64b9e6a9102bd/

We sincerely value your participation and we will provide access to a report of findings from this study through the MGRM website.

Mapping the Rainbow

Mapping the Rainbow is a collection of research conducted in undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees which focus on LGBTIQ related issues. The publication is a collaboration between MGRM, The Human Rights Directorate and the Department of Gender Studies and Sexualities and the Europe Direct Information Centre of the University of Malta

Amongst others, the studies deal with Non-Conformity and Institutions, Social Issues and Education.

The publication is edited by Dr Marceline Naudi and Dr Claire Azzopardi Lane.

We have got a small number of printing publications which we are distributing for free, but we are asking you to cover the shipping costs. We encourage you to donate to MGRM in order to cover our costs for this and other projects on which we are constantly working. Alternatively, you may wish to download your free eBook by clicking the button below.

Safe and Seen Education Toolkit

Why should youths learn about LGBTIQ+ at school or in youth groups?

In 2017, MGRM conducted a survey among youth aged 13 – 22 in State and Church schools, and published the 2017 Malta National School Climate Survey Report in 2019. The survey reflected the absence of LGBTIQ affirming education, revealing the majority of respondents did not feel safe in their school environment and this has a negative impact on the wellbeing of students, and their educational success. However, LGBTIQ students tend to have positive feelings about their school when they find support from school staff, which highlighted the crucial role of educators in creating safe and accepting environments at school.

In the European Wide LGBTIQ Survey by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, 17% of Maltese LGBTI teenage students (15 to 17 years old) were still hiding being LGBTI at school, while 73% found support from their peers and teachers. At the same time, only 48% said their school education address LGBTI issues in a positive way.

In the Special Eurobarometer 493 on Discrimination in the European Union, published in 2019, over 71% of respondents agreed that school lessons and material should include diversity on sexual orientation, being transgender and being intersex.

These surveys highlight the importance of inclusive education for all youths, both those who identify as LGBTIQ and those who do not. It allows them to be better informed, support their peers, create a safe and welcome environment that fosters understanding on a personal and social level.

What does this toolkit consist of?

  • Structured workshop on history, with Powerpoint Presentations
  • A Queer Trivia Board Game covering History, Culture, General Knowledge, Open Questions, Maltese and International trivia
  • x2 Animated Explainer Videos
  • Information Leaflets for support, youth and parents

Who is it for?

The toolkit is to be used by educators working with youths 12 years and older. That includes:

  • PSCD, Social Studies, or History Teachers
  • Youth workers
  • Individuals who works with youths in groups
  • Youth organisations
Explainer Videos

LGBTIQ+ bil-Malti

LGBTIQ+ (with Sign Language)


Genderbread Person

HISTORY WORKSHOP

The history workshop is split into 5 parts so you may continue on more than one day, and at the same time, not overload your audience with a lot of information in one go. Powerpoint Presentations, and the guide for each, can be downloaded below.

Youtube videos are playable in slides. Should you encounter issues, the video links are provided in the same slide to open in a browser.

Part 1: Native Americans

Download Presentation | EN / MT Download Guide

Part 2: The Holocaust

Download Presentation | EN / MT Download Guide

Part 3: Stonewall and Pride

Download Presentation | EN / MT Download Guide

Malta: Past to Present

Download Presentation | EN / MT Download Guide

Present Times Around the Globe

Download Presentation | EN / MT Download Guide

QUEER TRIVIA BOARD GAME

It is important to have watched the videos, and done the workshop before playing the Queer Trivia game. There are 6 themes, covering History, Culture, General Knowledge, Open Questions, Maltese and International trivia. Each theme is identified by a different colour of the Pride Rainbow. The board game consists of:

  • Game mat
  • 12 character pawns
  • Dice
  • 6 packs of themed cards
  • Instructions
  • Answers booklet

The board game comes in two forms. The only difference between the two is the size of the game mat and the character pawns. Which to choose depends on the number of game participants.

LARGE

150cm square game mat when open, suitable for a class or large group. The mat is provided folded, and in an archive box with the rest of the toolkit items.

SMALL

50cm square game mat when open, is suitable for small groups. The mat is provided folded, and in an archive box with the rest of the toolkit items.


About the Project

Malta ranks first again, for LGBTIQ rights in Europe according to ILGA-Europe’s Rainbow Map and Index 2020, scoring 89%, with much of that progress having been registered through the adoption of policies and legislation.

The European Wide LGBTIQ Survey by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency which was published recently presented some surprising statistics for Malta. While on a positive note, the majority of LGBTIQ individuals saw a decrease in intolerance and violence, and viewed the Government leading the charge in fighting this; the report also showed that almost 50% still fear holding a same-sex partner’s hand in public and just over 20% avoided certain places.

While much of what has been achieved is truly impressive, there is still work to be done in the area of education and awareness so that people in the community can be visible, and safe. This mainstreaming is an open-ended process.

Through this project, we hope to take this advocacy one step further by providing a service to the country’s educators, to ensure that they are better informed about how to incorporate LGBTIQ issues in the curriculum. By supporting all those working in education, we can tackle misinformation, try and combat ignorance, support greater understanding of the community as a whole, promote a safe and inclusive school environment as well as provide direct support for those struggling to deal with LGBTIQ issues or LGBTIQ individuals in the class room.

This project has been funded through the Voluntary Organisations Project Scheme managed by the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector on behalf of Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Sports and Voluntary Organisations within the Ministry for Education and Employment. This project/ publication reflects the views only of the author, and the MEDE and the MCVS cannot be held responsible for the content or any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

No one should be left without a home

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our day-to-day lives unlike anything else in living memory. As we heed to the authorities’ message to self-isolate and stay at home, more and more people are losing their income and becoming increasingly unable to pay rent. Although many landlords have been able to lower the price of rent, this is not a reality for everyone.

MGRM, Allied Rainbow Communities, Checkpoint Malta, and LGBTI+ Gozo have received messages from people in distress who are either losing their homes, or else have become homebound in unsafe places which they are unable to leave.  Unfortunately all the rooms and apartments which we had been offered to us before the pandemic started are already full. This highlights how acute the situation is, whilst leaving us without option but to turn away people.

For this reason, the four NGOs have joined forces to seek to find accommodation for people at risk, or who have already become homeless. If you are able to accommodate someone temporarily whilst the pandemic crisis is ongoing, we would like to invite you to fill this form through which we hope to build a database of vacant places that can be used for altruistic purposes – https://forms.gle/7jVjVUwa8o6evGi4A

If you do not have a room or a place to offer, but would still like to help, you may donate using the below bank details or by using PayPal.  The fund is administered by the Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement, however all funds will be jointly managed by all four NGOs. Any funds remaining after the crisis will be donated to an external charity chosen jointly between the four NGOs.

If you are not living in a safe home, reach out to any one of us and we will do our utmost to help you.

We are jointly appealing to the nation to support those who need our help.

Bank Details

  • Account Name – MGRM
  • Bank name – HSBC Bank Malta PLC
  • BIC – MMEBMTMT
  • IBAN – MT21MMEB44613000000061249785050

Paypal

LGBTIQ Experiences in Paceville

At the end of October 2019, the Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement (MGRM) launched an online questionnaire to obtain more knowledge about the experiences of people from the LGBTIQ community in Paceville, Malta’s entertainment and club Mecca.

The initiative to conduct this study was primarily instigated by media reports claiming that members of the LGBTIQ community were being treated unfairly, harassed or refused to be served because of their gender identity, sexual orientation or gender non-conforming appearance and/or behaviour. Furthermore, through its interaction within the LGBTIQ community, it is not uncommon for the members of the community to speak to members of MGRM of their negative experiences in Paceville.

MGRM has received 210 responses from the entire spectrum of the LGBTIQ Community. Based on those responses, we are making a series of five recommendations which are intended to improve the security not just of the members of the LGBTIQ community but also that of every patron who frequents Paceville.

Download the full report by clicking the link below.

Questions to the PL Leadership Candidates

Il-Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement (MGRM) ilha għal dawn l-aħħar għoxrin sena taħdem għall-kisbiet ta’ diversi drittijiet ċivili, li ħafna minnhom inkisbu f’dawn l-aħħar snin. Fid-dawl tal-bidla fit-tmexxija tal-Partit Laburista u allura fil-pożizzjoni ta’ Prim Ministru, drittijiet bħall-ugwaljanza fiż-żwieġ, id-dritt li familja b’koppja tal-istess sess tkun tista’ taddotta, id-dritt li persuna tibdel il-ġeneru legali skont l-affermazzjoni tal-individwu, id-dritt għal trattament mediku għal persuni trans, u b’mod ġenerali l-ugwaljanza sħiħa quddiem il-liġi jafu jkunu mhedda.

Għaldaqstant, l-MGRM tat l-opportunità lill-Onorevoli Chris Fearne u Robert Abela bħala ż-żewġ kandidati għal din il-pożizzjoni sabiex jagħtu r-risposti tagħhom għal sett ta’ domandi komuni bejn it-tnejn.

Il-kandidati ġew mgħarrfa li r-risposti ser ikunu qed jiġu ppublikati fuq is-sit tagħna, kif ukoll fuq il-paġni tagħna fuq il-mezzi tal-media soċjali li nużaw.

Niżżel ir-rapport finali mill-link ta’ hawn taħt:

[MT] – MGRM – Mistoqsijiet lill-Kandidati


For the past twenty years, the Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement (MGRM) has worked hard for the achivement of several civil rights, most of which were achieved in the past few years. As a result of the change in leadership of the Partit Laburist, and therefore the position of Prime Minister, rights such as marriage equality, equality in adoption laws, the right to change name and legal gender, the right to treatement for trans people, and in a general sense, equality in the eyes of the law, could be threatened.

For this reason, MGRM invited the Hon. Chris Fearne and the Hon. Robert Abela, as the two candidates for this position to set the record straight, and answer an identical set of questions related to the above.

The two candidates were made aware that their responses were going to be published on our website as well as on our social media pages.

We would like to note that both the questions and the answers were made in Maltese. Although the responses were professionally translated into English, please refer to the original language in case of any ambiguity.

Download the final report from the link below.

[EN] – MGRM – Questions to the Candidates

With World AIDs Day 2019 Now Behind Us, How Far Has Malta Come In The Fight Against Stigma And Access To PrEP?

2019 was a strong year for HIV activists in Malta, and for World AIDs Day on Sunday, the Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement took to Tigne Point to reiterate their stance in the fight against stigma.

They were joined by the Malta Medical Students Association, a strong traditional ally in HIV Activism.

The newly-elected committee decided to revive their commitment of ensuring that human rights apply equally to everyone, with its statute making specific mention of safeguarding the rights of people living with HIV (PLHIV).

Mark Josef Rapa, founder of the group PrEPingMalta has been advocating for access to PrEP, a preventative treatment which when taken daily stops the transmission of HIV by more than 99%, also covered the issues that arise from the virus itself and the stigma surrounding it in his column in the Independent.

PrEP has also led to a significant drop in HIV rates across a number of European cities, while Malta saw a rise of over 50% in 2018 and a reported 400 people being treated for the virus in hospitals around the island.

Following calls for easier access, PrEP finally became available for purchase in local pharmacies earlier this year. Until that point, people wanting to protect themselves had to buy the medication online. Name one other medication you’d be willing to buy off the internet, we’ll wait.

MGRM entered the forefront of Malta’s gay advocacy in September 2019, the same month that saw Checkpoint Malta set up – an NGO with hopes of extinguishing the taboo behind HIV and AIDs.

The launch was accompanied by a new website. The first of its kind in Malta, the site has since accumulated over 3,000 page views. Two of the most popular pages explain how to buy and use PrEP and a breakdown of how to cope with daily life post-diagnosis.

An interesting point to note is that while many groups have been campaigning for the public to increase their efforts in testing their sexual health regularly, the page on the site that details how to get tested is still only the third most popular.

This is further indicative of an assumption made regarding the national health policy.

While activism has been strengthening on the side of breaking stigma, 2019 still remains a poor year in regards to the collective health awareness of the country.

Statistics do indicate that people want to know their status, they want to protect themselves. As for those who are HIV+ still wishing for equal treatment, there is still a ways to go. The fight continues to align Malta’s HIV medical care with that of the rest of the continent.

Joe Grima, a representative within MGRM, said of the work the group has done so far:

“We can no longer accept that treatment which is no longer recommended by the European AIDS Clinical Society and World Health Organization is given out. February 2019 saw a missed opportunity with the launch of a flawed Request for Proposal (RFP) which indicated privatising HIV-related care.”

It is still unknown as to whether or not the RFP is still being considered, though expectations for a relaunch late this year still stand. MGRM and HIV Malta stress the urgency of this consideration, stating that unless the RFP includes PrEP trials, it is likely to fall behind as another missed opportunity.

Until then, the people march on. Through the Rainbow Support Services, MGRM and HIV Malta continue to provide free support to those affected by HIV and other members of queer communities.

The new year will see the launch of peer groups and buddy systems for people living with HIV. Support groups, together with constant dialogue with health professionals and policymakers, will continue to ensure that everyone is afforded the same dignity and standards worthy of a citizen of a modern European state in 2020.

Source: Lovin Malta

Tunisian gay asylum seekers in limbo

When professional dancer Chakib Zidi landed in Malta in August 2017 as part of a European tour, he had no idea he would not be able to leave. 

The 29-year-old is gay, something that is deemed illegal in his home country of Tunisia and is punishable by up to three years in jail.  

He is among an undisclosed number of people seeking asylum under Malta’s Refugees Act based on fears their sexuality would result in degrading treatment or punishment in their country of origin.

“While I was working in Malta two years ago, I received an urgent message from my sister and lawyer via Facebook that my house in the Medina area of Tunis was being raided by the police,” he said.

“They also told me that my coffee shop was being searched. The police were looking for proof that I was gay. If I return, I could be arrested or forced to undergo a gay ‘test’ which involves an anal probe. So, I’ve had to seek asylum here in Malta.”

Since then, Chakib has been trying to find out if he will receive international protection. 

He and his partner, theatre director Mohamad Ali ‘Dali’ Agrebi, who is also from Tunisia, live in Fgura with their dog Bobby. They are among a growing group of asylum seekers who are choosing to live openly gay.

“We are very happy here but are still living in a kind of limbo,” continues Chakib. 

“Dali got his visa six months ago, but I am still waiting to receive international protection. This means I can’t travel, get a driver’s licence or even open a bank account. I feel a bit trapped as I can’t visit my family or friends. It also holds me back when it comes to accepting work abroad as a dancer or choreographer as I can’t leave.” 

While Malta ranks first place in the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) index as Europe’s best country for LGBTQ+ law and policy, life is more difficult if you are a migrant or refugee. 

According to the latest information from the European Fundamental Rights Agency, many gay people who are discriminated against for their ethnic origin or religion don’t bother reporting violence or hate speech.

“I am gay. This is who I am,” says Chakib. 

“Yes, I wish I was born heterosexual but there is nothing I can do about that. It’s not my fault. I feel betrayed by my country but all I can do is hope that I can get official status soon so that I can move forward with my life.” 

In Tunisia, human rights campaigners have called for an end to the criminalisation of same-sex conduct and forced anal examinations, but so far nothing has changed. I wish I was born heterosexual but there is nothing I can do about that

Despite this, Chakib and Dali feel they are among the lucky members of Malta’s migrant and asylum-seeking gay community. For this reason, they are working closely with Malta’s LGBTIQ Rights Movement (MGRM) in Mosta to help those struggling. 

“It has shocked me to hear what some people have gone through since arriving in Malta,” says Chakib. 

“One man – who was living in Ħal Far – says he felt very threatened there. He had no idea it was legal to be gay here and thought it only happened in places like the US. When he came out with us to places like Paceville, he couldn’t believe the bouncers allowed him into clubs when he was with us, because when he tried before he was turned away as he was black. 

“We took him with us to gay events such as Pride and Lollipop and he was so happy.”

Dali, 26, says there is not enough help for vulnerable gay people who end up in Malta. 

“We hope to set up a space just for migrants and plan to meet so people can be informed about the rights and laws they have here, as well as sexual and mental health services because they vary from country to country,” he said.

Alex Caruana, who works as a Community Outreach Officer, also at MGRM, agrees with Dali. 

He says that some gay migrants face the double challenge of not being accepted because of the colour of their skin and sexuality. 

“Often a person’s experience depends on the social-economic class they fall into, within Malta. 

“For example, if you are in the arts community you might be OK. But if you are a gay, poor, black man working on a construction site, you are probably going to have a harder time,” he said.

Trying to find out exactly how many people are seeking asylum in Malta because they are gay is difficult – but this is something Dali feels also needs to change. 

“It’s so hard to get the numbers and, when we ask, we are told it’s confidential. But if we knew more facts, I think it would be easier for us to know who we should reach out to and help,” he said. 

Source: Times of Malta