Category: Blog

Call for Curator – Katya

 

Alongside a publication, this year we will be celebrating Katya Saunders’ life through an exhibition, visualizing her story through her fashion, photographs and mementos.

 

Being one of the first trans women in Malta, Katya Saunders was a trailblazer and an icon for Malta’s LGBTIQ+ movement. Katya was better known for her iconic fashion, modelling experience and cabaret performances but when she passed away in 2019, it quickly emerged there was more than meets the eye.In absence of voluntary organisations, and at a time when trans identities remained controversial, Katya quickly created her own support system, sheltering friends and young people who became homeless. Through her actions, her friends insist that Katya metaphorically laid down the red carpet for today’s LGBTIQ scene, to be able to safely come out and live their lives.

MGRM has also secured the support of Katya’s friends and family, which will give this project a complete picture.

Aims of the project

The exhibition aims to celebrate and immortalise Katya’s life and fashion, whilst unveiling the story of an important figure in local LGBTIQ history. Friends and family of Katya donated her belongings to MGRM, including photographs, several gowns, jewellery, shoes, and accessories. While doing so, the exhibition will also highlight the impact she left on the local LGBTIQ+ community.

Terms of Reference

– To determine, after consulting the MGRM’s team, the content and form of the exhibition.

– To collect and gather material from Katya’s loved ones, and suggest new content when needed.

– To work closely with the author of the publication, and any videographer or photographer, in order to strengthen the curatorial concept, interlinking both aspects of the project.

– To bear in mind the context of the exhibition and where it is to be held.

– Coordinate with MGRM’s team and provide critical input to the exhibition project as well as collect key information and media materials.

– Attend openings and assist with set up/takedown, greet visitors, and communicate about the exhibition.

– Attend discussions/talks in order to bring more online visibility to the exhibition

– In this and all of its projects, MGRM prioritises sustainability and would request that choices and decisions made are not detrimental to the environment.

Eligibility Criteria

Bidders must submit a CV, a quotation, and portfolio with relevant curatorial experience while also demonstrating the ability to produce the work being contracted to the high quality being sought.

Selection Criteria

–       Quality of Portfolio presented

–       Knowledge of LGBTIQ issues and LGBTIQ affirmative approach

–       Technical and Financial Bid

Budget

Maximum funding available is of Eur 1,000 inclusive of VAT.

Intellectual Property

All intellectual property rights belong to MGRM, and the respective donors of Katya Saunders’ materials.

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 Robert Attardon +356 99255559. Deadline is 1st April 2022.

Timeline

Call Deadline Application

1st April 2022

Contract of selected service provider

8th April 2022

Provisional Timeline

Gathering data and merging of data

29th April 2022

Presentation ideas of a possible artistic concept for the exhibition

6th May 2022

Final draft/ decision of the artistic concept

17th June 2022

Selection of resources

8th July 2022

Printing and framing

5th August 2022

Exhibition set up

30 – 31st August 2022

Exhibition

2nd – 11th September 2022

This project has been funded through the Voluntary Organisations Project Scheme managed by the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector.

2022 Electoral Manifestos – LGBTIQ Proposals

As LGBTIQ persons, we are defined by more than our sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics. Being an LGBTIQ organisation, we sought to highlight those proposals made by all parties* in their electoral manifestos which directly impact LGBTIQ rights, or which formed part of the Coalition’s Election Proposals.

This document emphasises proposals made, and is not an endorsement of any political party.

Finally, we feel that casting our vote in general elections brings our year-round activism to a full circle. We urge you to do the same.

You can download the document by clicking here.

*Other parties whose mission fundamentally differs from MGRM’s are not included in this document.

Celebrating 20 Years of Trailblazing

Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2021. To celebrate this significant moment, an exhibition was held showcasing MGRM’s activism throughout the past 20 years, and to show its contribution to the transformation seen in the LGBTIQ+ rights in Malta over the last two decades.

Besides the exhibition, MGRM published a book to celebrate and document the work we have done in the past two decades. The book celebrates the advocacy, support and power of volunteering, and the role that volunteers have in making Malta a more inclusive society.

The book includes pictures from the early years of MGRM, to moments of supporting the community and a timeline of key dates in Malta’s Road to LGBTIQ equality. Although most of the work MGRM does is not recorded, these moments are. And we are very excited that these moments will forever be available to share with our members.

If you would like to get this book, you can pick it up for free at the MGRM library (open every Tuesday & Thursday from 3 pm-6 pm),  or we can send it to you for €20,- (only delivering in Malta)

PLAN - PRICE

Description

Pickup

Pickup the book: 

from our offices in Mosta,

Tuesday and Thursday 

from 3-6 pm

For Free

Postage Malta 

Cost of postage in

Malta:

€20

Postage + Donation

Book postage plus Donation:

€20 + €5

Trans People in Sport

Trans weightlifter Laurel Hubbard has met the strict eligibility standards set by the International Olympic Committee and the New Zealand Olympic Committee, and was selected to compete at the upcoming Olympics. This created an international debate on whether trans people, particularly women, hold an unfair advantage. Science shows that this advantage does not exist. We will try to explain why.

A familiar topic

What we are seeing around us mirrors what happened decades ago. Rooted in racism, everyone was fed the belief that white people were intellectually superior, and black people (with all the different ethnicities that fall under it) had an athletic advantage. A self fulfilling prophecy that was created not because black people in general had a genetic advantage, but brought about due to the limited opportunities that such communities had. Throughout the years, even up to this day, people have justified the success of black people in certain sports disciplines by saying that they have a biological advantage. The socioeconomic situation that led to that success is ignored. And as happened in the past, nowadays we see that any success enjoyed by a trans woman athlete is attributed solely to their supposed genetic advantage.

In the meantime, the International Olympic Committee set its first guidelines for trans athletes back in 2003. Between 2003 and now, there were minor changes, the last being in 2015. It took eighteen years for a trans athlete to both meet the criteria and qualify. This is an indication that the argument might be much smaller than it seems.

DNA and XX/XY chromosomes

All these things determine the sex that you’re born as, but they don’t really do much else. They have no effect on our everyday life, because biological processes are mostly determined by the endocrine (and nervous) system. And these hormones released by the endocrine glands can generally be ‘controlled’.

Sex hormones

Referring to a trans woman’s body as a male body is incorrect. Uninformed people vastly underestimate how significant these hormones are. Biologically, a trans woman’s body (who undergoes medical transition) functions as a female body. In trans women, if testosterone is properly suppressed, attributes that are generally associated with male strength are very quickly lost, and other things like fat percentage increase in line with female values. Within a few months, bodybuilders can look like they barely ever stepped inside a gym, even if they maintain a certain level of training. And that muscle mass isn’t getting rebuilt as long as hormone levels are maintained. However, in some people it can take longer for muscle mass to significantly diminish, and this is where it might be fair to examine whether the current IOC guidelines should be amended. At the moment, with our limited level of research in this field, it seems like the current framework is correct, as the athletic ability of trans women is far closer to that of cis women than cis men.

Bone structure and other things that do not change with the suppression of testosterone

Firstly, women (and people in general) come in all shapes and sizes. There are cis women with narrow hips, wide shoulders, tall women, short women, and the list goes on. Do we exclude certain cis women from sports because of their shape? Bone density is higher in trans women who have had the effects of testosterone, but those bones need muscle to move, muscle which is diminished through a lack of testosterone. Not only is this not an advantage for trans woman, but it could potentially be a disadvantage when compared to cis women. Hating on a trans woman because they have a deep voice, body hair, and look more masculine (permanent effects of exposure to testosterone) only shows that people are afraid of anyone who doesn’t fit their gender stereotypes.

But VO2 max and lactate threshold and…

Back to our historical context. All of these little arguments was made about black people so you are likely falling in the same trap. We all know that was not right now. or so we hope.

Being trans is unnatural

Instead of producing sex hormones themselves, trans people have to get theirs from an external source. The food we eat, medicines we take, and pretty much everything we do in life is unnatural. Trans people are just as natural and biological as everyone else, and claiming otherwise is dehumanising.

Place trans people in a different category

Sports have never been fair. This is a ridiculous suggestion as human physiological and morphological variance has always been an accepted part of sport. No two people are the same, so should we have categories for age, height, weight, limb length, and whatever else people want to categorise? That’s how you can eliminate unfairness in sport, and it’s also how you end up with no competition as every single person will fall under a different category. Or do we only want to exclude an already marginalised and misunderstood population because we dislike anyone who’s different?

Enough with the hypotheticals

Stop reading (and sharing) disingenous articles about trans athletes who’s main purpose is to create an unfounded fear of trans people. Stop cherry-picking research that you didn’t even read (or understand). Stop claiming that trans women are or will be dominating women’s sports. Where do you see this happening? Trans people have been around and allowed to compete (following certain rules) for many years now. Every few years, whenever a trans athlete makes the headlines (because we only care about trans people when they win something), everyone starts heralding the apocalypse, and yet, we’ve never seen a trans woman be the best in any sport, let alone dominating enough that no other woman has a chance at competing. Men do have a significant advantage over women in pretty much every sport. Trans women, however, do not.

Trans men

Trans male athletes exist, but we hear less about them for various reasons. Firstly, society and media is obsessed with women and their bodies. Trans women have always received much more attention because we still live in a misogynistic society where being male is superior. Secondly, environmental effects, wherein trans men who grew up as girls are less likely to take sport seriously because of gender stereotypes. Thirdly, nowadays most people transition in their 20s, and then they have to wait for the effects of testosterone, train, and bulk up, always playing catchup with cis men, so they don’t win (also because men’s sports are much more saturated). Comparatively, trans women are ‘going backwards’ in athletic ability, which is easier.

Fear and prejudice

For the vast majority of people, when they think of a trans athlete, they think of a hulking testosterone filled man who one day just decides to compete against women because it’s easy. Whenever anyone does that, all they’re doing is showing how uninformed and hateful they are, because to them, a trans person will never be anything but their assigned gender. This is an issue that goes beyond sport, and the topic of trans athletes is used to disguise general transphobia.

Different opinions

Having different opinions about this topic and discussing the research related to it is good. However, most people I’ve seen commenting about it are unable to do so without resorting to insults and misgendering of trans people.

Remember that typically, trans women use the female pronouns She/Her, whilst trans men use the pronouns He/Him.

Whether you like it or not, trans people are here to stay, in sport and every other aspect of society.

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.

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