In the past years, MGRM has agreed with Aġenzija Żgħażagħ, the national Youth Agency, to provide support and financial resources for the Rainbow Support Services Youth Group. For many LGBTIQ+ young people, this group is the first place they truly feel they can be themselves. This in itself is no small achievement however LGBTIQ+ youth groups are, of course, much more than this. Together, various professionals and LGBTIQ+ young people play a major role in tackling discrimination and changing the hearts and minds of others in society.
As such, MGRM and Aġenzija Żgħażagħ have developed this interactive and educational pack filled with various activities aimed at educating young people across Malta and Gozo. This step-by-step youth pack will help various professionals to deliver a session of choice aimed towards addressing everyday issues experienced by many LGBTIQ+ individuals. The main objective is to raise awareness and bring about social change.
There are 5 activities.
Sexual Orientation Fantasy Trip
Gender Bread Person
Fantasy Trip: This fantasy trip will give the participants a chance to feel what it’s like to be born in a body that may not fit their gender identity – assuming that the listeners are not trans.
Sexual Orientation Fantasy Trip: This fantasy trip will give participants a chance to feel what it’s like to be hated and excluded because of their sexual orientation – assuming that the listeners are heterosexual.
LGBTIQ Acronyms: The goal of vocabulary isn’t to read definitions for every word but to allow your participants to highlight the words that they are most interested in learning about, and to clarify those words.
Gender Bread Person: To enable participants to understand the difference between gender identity, biological sex, and sexual orientation
LGBTIQ Timeline: The main aim for this activity is for participants to learn about some of the main historical events that occurred in LGBTIQ+ history. This will give participants a better understanding of LGBTIQ+ culture and why activism is still important.
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
Individuals who works with youths in groups
LGBTIQ+ (with Sign Language)
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.
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:
12 character pawns
6 packs of themed cards
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.
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.
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.
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.