Category: Current Projects

Malta MEP Elections 2024 – A Guide for LGBTIQ+ voters & allies

The European elections are nearing, and we’ve collected information you might find useful to inform your choices this Saturday. 

There is also a free tool we found on Times of Malta that helps you match your views with the main local and European parties. https://euandi.eu/en/survey/european-elections.html

The European elections and LGBTIQ Rights

We contacted various local candidates contesting the EU elections, asking them to protect the rights of LGBTI people as future elected members of the European Parliament, by signing the “Come Out 4 Europe” pledge.

The upcoming European Parliament elections will be a pivotal moment for the future of the EU. As we witness the rise of political forces that question or attack freedom, basic fundamental rights and democracy, it is a time when we must all pull together for the Europe we want to see.

Is it just about LGBTIQ rights?

LGBTIQ rights do not exist in a bubble, and apart from intersecting with other groups (disability, age, ethnicity to name a few), LGBTIQ persons should also enjoy other fundamental rights. These include the right to healthcare (general as well as sexual and reproductive healthcare), freedom of movement, asylum, education, freedom of expression, and freedom from discrimination amongst many others. Any work at EU or national level to hinder or roll back any human rights will affect the LGBTIQ community in Malta and across Europe too. Our country is the ‘top’ in LGBTIQ rights in Europe, but our rights can be taken away much faster than they were achieved.

Who pledged to protect LGBTIQ Rights?

24 candidates have signed the “Come Out 4 Europe” pledge. 

We are aware that some candidates or their political parties in government have pledged to protect LGBTIQ rights, while they have made comments, proposed or incorporated policies/legislation that negatively impact our community and other areas which affect LGBTIQ persons, such as trans and gender diversity, asylum and reproductive healthcare. We will continue to monitor local and EU level discourse, to hold candidates and their political parties accountable to our community for their work. 

Independents

Arnold Cassola, James Ryder Muscat

ADPD (4 candidates)

Sandra Gauci, Ralph Cassar, Mina Jack Tolu, Rachelle Deguara

Volt Malta (1 candidate)

Matthias Iannis Portelli

Partit Laburista (9 candidates)

Thomas Bajada, Steve Ellul, Clint Azzopardi Flores, Claudette Abela Baldacchino, Jesmond Marshall, Jesmond Bonello, Marija Sara Vella Gafa, Daniel Attard, Alex Agius Saliba

Partit Nazzjonalista (8 candidates)

Miriana Calleja Testaferrata de Noto, Norma Camilleri, David Casa, Roberta Metsola, Louise Anne Pulis, Peter Agius, David Agius, Lee Bugeja Bartolo

Who did not pledge to protect LGBTIQ Rights?

Partit ABBA 

Ivan Grech Mintoff, Antonia Gauci

Imperium Europa

Norman Lowell, Terence Portelli

Independent Candidates

Noel Apap, Malcolm Bezzina, Nazzareno Bonici, Conrad Borg Manche, Alexander D’Agata, Radu Gheorge, George Grixti, Stephen Florian, Simon Mercieca, Edwin Vassallo, Adrian Zammit

 


Manifestos of parties whose members signed the pledge

Please note the points below do not reflect the full manifestos, but we are listing keywords that stood out. We encourage voters to be analytical, and compare pledges made with the track record of the party or candidate.

Partit Laburista 

Malta first, peace and neutrality, economic competitiveness, climate change, immigration, strengthen connectivity, Gozo, European funds, agriculture & fisheries, future of the EU 

See manifesto https://issuu.com/partitlaburista/docs/0806_mep_elections_en

Partit Nazzjonalista 

European funds, public transport and alternative modes of transport, the environment as a human right, strengthening democracy and rule of law, Gozo, youths, support farmers, herdsmen and fishermen

See manifesto https://pn.org.mt/?r3d=programm-elettorali

ADPD 

The environment (climate change, cleaner modes of transport, pollution and more), education, healthcare, mental health, economy, anti-corruption and strengthening democracy, equality and protection of human rights (including LGBTIQ and asylum seekers), AI, freedom of the press, cooperation and peace in the EU, trade. 

See Manifesto https://adpd.mt/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/ADPD-Its-in-your-interest-to-go-Green.docx.pdf

Volt 

(Volt is part of a European-wide group with a very detailed manifesto. The below summarises the main points.)

Prosperity of the EU, foreign affairs and defence, green economy, quality of life, anti-discrimination and promoting inclusivity, employment, fighting tax evasion, family planning and inclusive reproductive rights, community social solidarity, mental health, affordable housing, workers’ rights, asylum seeker rights, migration, reform of the EU, anti-corruption, protecting democracy, freedom of press, climate change, renewable and clean energy, sustainability, the environment

See manifesto https://volteuropa.org/storage/pdf/eu-elections-2024/volt-eur-electoral-moonshot-program_v5-final-(1).pdf

Arnold Cassola

Environment & nature (regulating development, access to public coasts, renewable energy, zero plastic, waste collection and more), good governance (rule of law, transparency etc), equal pay for equal work, improvement of minimum wage, youths (investment in sports and programmes, research and innovation, equal opportunities)

See manifesto https://arnoldcassola.eu/en/manifesto/

James Ryder Muscat

James Ryder Muscat’s manifesto is not published, however from statements made in the run up to the election, he is proposing an alternative under the slogan of ‘we’ve had worse’. James has also pledged support for LGBTIQ and reproductive rights. 


Notable comments made by non-signing candidates

Partit ABBA

Partit ABBA has made various comments in the past that indicate their leaning to a conservative right-wing approach to politics. Members of ABBA describe themselves and their politics as Christian, which is a position that is largely critical of equal rights for LGBTIQ individuals.

Ivan Grech Mintoff declared on a debate on TVM that he would resign from Partit ABBA and that he would sue the Secretary General of the party for libel. This position seemed to have changed on Thursday 6 June, when Grech Mintoff suddenly promoted Partit ABBA and its other candidate, Antonia Gauci, on his facebook page.

Imperium Europa

Imperium Europa has been described as a ‘neo-fascist’ party, however this claim cannot be clearly confirmed when reading the manifesto of the party. In 2013, Norman Lowell was found guilty of inciting racial hatred.

The manifesto is laden with very neutral language with unclear references to LGBTIQ rights. The only pledge made states that the party is in favour of: ‘Reversing policies based on social construct and recognising the age-old two genders: male and female, while ensuring that homosexual persons are treated equally and with respect.’

Edwin Vassallo

Edwin Vassallo used to be a PN MP up till a few years ago. Having failed to be elected in the latest election, he is now an independent candidate. Vassallo was the only MP to vote against marriage equality in 2017, voted against a gender-based and domestic violence bill in 2018 and in 2019 he famously shared a post in which he warned his followers that someone was ‘injecting fruits with blood containing HIV and AIDS’. Vassallo later apologised for sharing the post. It is worth noting that the HIV virus does not survive outside of the human body. AIDS is a syndrome caused by untreated HIV, so it cannot be spread.

Conrad Borg Manche

Conrad Borg Manche is the mayor of Gzira and previously represented the Partit Laburista from which he resigned in 2023. Borg Manche describes himself as a politician with socialist values. Borg Manche was amongst a group of people who criticised a 2023 EuroPride event in which a drag queen was amongst a line of dancers teaching a dance routine for people including children who voluntarily attended. Therapists specialising in sexual developments debunked the myth, stating that events such as this help children become ‘more tolerant and remove prejudices’

On Wednesday 5 June 2024, Borg Manche declared that if elected he would join the European Conservative and Reformist Group in Parliament. As the name implies, the policies of the group are extremely conservative, and all its members so far include right-wing and far-right politicians, such as Marine Le Pen in France and Giorgia Meloni in Italy. 

In a post on his facebook page, Borg Manche shared the group’s position on LGBTIQ rights, seemingly endorsing them. Amongst others, the post stated that the group is critical of ‘proactive politics and laws’ because they promote ‘special rights for the LGBTIQ community, which could discriminate against other groups’. In reply to comments under this post, Borg Manche stated that he is in favour of civil liberties, but then adding that there is an ‘imbalance’ with respect to the ‘family’.

VOPS 24 – Call for Graphic Designer

Are you a keen designer with an interest in local LGBTQ+ history? 

If so then we invite you to apply for the position of design a book with photography and text of approximately 30 pages, alongside graphics for an exhibition commemorating the 20th Anniversary of Pride in Malta through photos, and interviews of individuals who were present during the first Pride march.

Terms of Reference

  • To determine, after consulting the MGRM’s team, the content and form of the media
  • To keep in mind the context of the project
  • Coordinate with MGRM’s team and provide critical input of the project
  • The creative liberty of the designer will be respected
  • Individuals or companies are welcome to apply

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants interested in the position of Book Designer should have:

  • Experience in editorial design, especially of books
  • Time Management 
  • Attention to detail
  • Sensitivity to LGBTIQ issues

Applicants must submit a CV and a portfolio with relevant experience demonstrating the ability to produce the work being contracted to the high quality sought.

Intellectual Property

All intellectual property rights 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, of a maximum of €1000, are to be sent to MGRM on mgrm@maltagayrights.org. For any queries, please contact Robert Attard on +356 99255559. Deadline is 23rd June 2024.

Provisional Timeline of Project

Call Deadline Application

23rd June 2024

Contracting of Selected Applicant

26th June 2024

Gathering of all Resources

10th July 2024

Final Draft available to MGRM

4th August 2024

Printing

12th August 2024

Book Launch & Exhibition

9th September 2024

 
This project has been funded through the Voluntary Organisations Project Scheme managed by the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector supported by the Ministry for Inclusion, Voluntary Organisations and Consumer Rights (MIVC).
This project reflects the views only of the author, and the MCVS cannot be held responsible for the content or any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

A Guide on Hate Speech and Hate Crime

A guide on hate speech and hate crime

Don’t accept hate.

No one has the right to abuse you for who you are. Everyone has a right to be respected and to express themselves free from abuse.

Quick links


What is hate speech?

Hate speech, also known as bias motivated speech, is written, printed or verbal speech that uses threatening, abusive or insulting language, with the intent to stir up violence or hatred with reference to a person or group based on gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, colour, language, ethnic origin, age, disability, religion, or belief or political or other opinion.

What is hate crime?

Hate crime is any criminal offence which is aggravated or motivated* by hostility, aversion or contempt  based on a victim’s membership (or presumed membership)** of a group based on gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, colour, language, national or ethnic origin, age, disability,  citizenship, religion or belief or political or other opinion. Hate crime is made up of a combination of the following acts such as verbal insults, violence and aggression and inciting. 

* The offender demonstrates this hostility, aversion or contempt, at the time of committing the offence, immediately before or after the offence. 

** Membership in relation to a group, includes association with members of that group. “Presumed” means presumed by the offender.

What are the effects of hate speech?

The effects of hate speech can be devastating to targeted individuals or groups, which affects society. Hate speech is directed not just to LGBT persons, but even people of colour, Muslims, persons with disability, the elderly and other groups. Hate speech is not an isolated phenomenon or limited to extreme groups; it can come from anyone. When hate speech is normalised and entering everyday discourse, it jeopardises peace, social cohesion, and democracy. 

Online and verbal hate speech may affect individuals’ psychological well being directly or indirectly. The amount of damage is significantly larger when an individual is targeted, compared to witnessing it on others. Victims of hate speech are at risk of low self-esteem, depression, increased anxiety and feelings of fear and insecurity.

Hate speech has been shown to lead to and escalate bias motivated violence. Historically, hate speech against different groups has fuelled wars, violent extremism and even genocide.

Genocides do not start with bullets, but with hate speech.

The Holocaust did not start with the gas chambers and concentration camps, but with hate speech and discriminatory policies over a number of years before. Decades of hate speech worsened by ethnic tensions led to the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. These are just two examples from many.

 

In the case of LGBTIQ persons, it has been observed that increased hate speech has led to an increase in hate crimes against LGBTIQ persons globally, even in countries where homosexuality is not criminalised. 

In 2023, following trends in previous years, ILGA-Europe noted that there had been an increase in bias motivated speech in Europe, especially towards trans people. 2023 has seen a stark rise in violence against LGBT persons, and in the severity of violence. Anti-LGBT hate crime is on the rise in France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, and the UK amongst other European countries. 

In August 2023, an ally of the LGBTIQ community who displayed a pride flag outside her shop was shot and killed by a man in Southern California after she had an argument with him when he tore the flag down and shouted homophobic slurs. This comes alongside an increase in threats and acts of violence towards LGBTIQ persons and allies, as well as a wave of anti-LGBTIQ legislation and policies in the US.  Hate speech hurts everyone.

 

What is the difference between Hate Speech and Free Speech?

Freedom of expression (aka free speech) is recognised in Maltese, European and International human rights law. But in all instances, duties and responsibilities come with this right and limitations for hate speech exist in law to protect everyone in society. 

“I’m just saying what I think!” or “I have a right to free speech!” are common responses when people who have written or said hateful comments are challenged about what they expressed. 

Addressing hate speech does not mean limiting or prohibiting freedom of speech. It means keeping hate speech from escalating into something more dangerous, particularly incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence, which is prohibited under international law.”

— United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, May 2019

Speech that criticises or challenges ideas or the status quo (for example, criticising events, policy, government, teachings), even if it is offensive or unpopular, is protected – it is important so that we can learn about different ideas, think and discuss critically and challenge. That is fundamental to a democratic society. On the other hand, speech that threatens or encourages discrimination, abuse and violence against people should be addressed. 

Internet-based platforms have become places where hateful content has become very common, be it words, videos, photos, memes or articles. It is important for everyone to consider what they are posting, whether it is to exchange and challenge perspectives, or target a group to encourage ‘othering’, violence or hatred. Not all hateful comments would be considered hate speech in the eyes of the law, but they are still hurtful and can be harmful. If you need support, reach out to the services in the next section.

What should you do if you encounter hate speech or hate crime?

Before taking any action, it is important to ensure the wellbeing of the victim, be it yourself or another person. Seek support if you need it. You can reach out to the contacts below:

  • MGRM
    call +356 99255559 or +356 794300006 
  • Victim Support Agency
    call 116 006 (7.30am – 7.30pm, including weekends and public holidays)
  • If in Gozo, you can call LGBTI+ Gozo’s counselling services on +356 9935 6622, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
  • Call 179 or 1579 for emotional support. (National Helplines)

We’re still working on guidelines for bystanders, but here are some existing resources from international organisations.

Bystander intervention training
Bystander Intervention (Please note support services contacts are UK only)

How to report

You can report the incident to the police at a police station or online here,  or the Victim Support Agency. The Victim Support Agency has been established to act as the national contact point for victims of crime, including victims of hate crime. Victims of crime who need assistance are invited  to call on 116 006 (freephone) which is available every day from 7.30am till 7.30pm, including weekends and public holidays. This national victim supportline is meant to provide information to Victims of Crime and facilitate access to victim support services.

When you report a case of online hate speech with the Victim Support Agency, you need to provide a screenshot of the post and comment, and the URL link of where the post/comment was originally published.  If it is a video, use a safe online downloader or screen recorder to download the video. The screenshot/video should not be altered in any way. You also need to provide the URL link to the alleged offender’s Facebook (or other social media) profile, and a screenshot of said profile.

IMPORTANT! Collect the evidence as soon as possible. Offenders sometimes take down their posts/comments/videos within hours or days. 

What happens after a report is filed?

Following the analysis of evidence followed by the lawyer, an official complaint (kwerela) will be issued should the report be found to be hate speech or hate crime and the official complaint will be handled by the Police, who will investigate from their end. Should the investigations result that a criminal act was committed, the alleged offender will be arraigned in court and the persons reporting or victims will be called to act as witnesses. If the offender is convicted of a hate crime, they will be imprisoned between six and eighteen months and a fine could be issued.

 

I’m encountering a lot of anti-LGBT hate speech online, and it is distressing. What should I do?

Self-care is important. Take a break from social media, go out and do things that sustain you like exercise, meditation, hobbies, hanging out with friends. If you need to talk to someone, you can reach out to our Rainbow Support Service. (support@maltagayrights.org and +356 79430006)

If you are not feeling emotionally well, are passing through a difficult time, or contemplating suicide and need immediate and free emotional support, and advice, you can seek help through the below services.

Online chats

  • kellimni.com
    Available 24/7. Run by SOS Malta.
  • OLLI chat
    Available Monday to Friday between 8am and 8pm, and Saturday between 8am and 4pm. Run by Richmond Foundation.

or call 

  • Freephone 179.
    Available 24/7.National Helpline.
  • Freephone 1579
    Available 24/7. Run by the Ministry of Health.
  • Freephone 1770
    Available Monday to Friday between 8am and 8pm, and Saturday between 8am and 4pm. Run by Richmond Foundation.
  • If in Gozo, you can call LGBTI+ Gozo’s counselling services on +356 9935 6622, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Legal information and support

aditus foundation
info@aditus.org.mt or call +356 7707 2221


This page has been written by MGRM with the support of the aditus foundation and information provided by the Victim Support Agency. While this page consists of information based on local legislation, MGRM is not a legal expert and the aim of the material available here is to make the information more accessible. For legal information and advice, please contact a lawyer. If you were a victim of a hate crime, reach out to any of the services provided above.

References

  • https://legislation.mt//Pdf/web/viewer.html?file=https://legislation.mt/getpdf/64ca06b95ca4ed1a30715099#page=53
  • https://legislation.mt//Pdf/web/viewer.html?file=https://legislation.mt/getpdf/64709e9d710d004dec495c2b#page=19
  • https://racismnoway.com.au/about-racism/hate-speech/
  • https://www.unesco.org/en/countering-hate-speech/need-know
  • https://www.ohchr.org/en/special-procedures/sr-religion-or-belief/hate-speech-and-incitement-hatred-or-violence
  • https://www.ilga-europe.org/report/annual-review-2023/
  • https://hackinghate.eu/news/the-consequences-of-online-hate-speech-a-teenager-s-perspective/
  • https://www.stophateuk.org/about-hate-crime/what-is-online-hate-crime/online-hate-and-free-speech/
  • https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/freedom-of-expression-and-racial-hatred.117705
  • https://classic.iclrs.org/content/blurb/files/paper%20Francisca%20PM.pdf

On EuroPride and the concept of Pride as a Protest

The Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement (MGRM) understands the concerns raised by individuals and organisations regarding the government’s position on abortion. On behalf of our committee and our members, we attended and spoke at the Parliamentary Committee against the proposed amended Bill 28 on Monday afternoon. Mere hours later we attended a EuroPride announcement at Castille Square. The irony is not lost on us. In fact, that our participation in EuroPride-related events would raise questions in the circumstances is not a surprise, since it is also a dilemma we have also faced internally.

We feel that withdrawing from EuroPride would not be a productive strategy in our efforts to promote change and advancements of human rights. EuroPride is a platform that can be utilised to create spaces for critical discussions and apply pressure on governments to address a range of pressing human rights issues.

At this juncture we will repeat a clarification we have made many times before. MGRM is not an organiser of EuroPride, which is not to say that we wash our hands of any responsibility. In fact we plan to actively participate in the event and support the Allied Rainbow Communities (ARC) fully with respect to this important event. When ARC approached us to ask if we were willing to support their bid for Europride 2023, we were, and remain glad to do so. This however adds to the responsibility which we feel we owe ARC, their members, and our own members. Pulling out now risks the success of the hard work which volunteers within our community have put into this event, and that would be completely contrary to what we stand for.

Pride is and will always be a protest against injustice and inequality. Pride does not belong to the government or any other entity. It does not belong to us or any of the NGOs. It is a platform that belongs to the community, championing solidarity, inclusivity, and progress of our community. By maintaining our presence at EuroPride, we can continue to challenge the government’s positions on various issues, including abortion, and push for a positive change.

Throughout our 22-year history, we have never hesitated to speak out against infringements of human rights. Our recent alliance with the Voice for Choice coalition demonstrates our unwavering commitment to challenging the status quo on reproductive rights. This is in addition to our advocacy with respect to inclusion, education, sexual health, anti-discrimination in the provision of goods and services, sex workers’ rights, pinkwashing, asylum seekers, migrants, and refugees. We will not compromise on either of these principles which we feel strongly about.

We will ensure that our participation in EuroPride, like in every Pride March before it ever since our first march in 2004, will serve to raise awareness and advocate for a comprehensive range of rights, including reproductive rights at a local and international level. The community dialogues we have planned, and every discussion we will chair will be a platform through which we demand accountability and foster meaningful dialogue. All our planned events focus on the creation of safe spaces that are completely free, accessible, inclusive, and which act as a platform for dialogue and conversation on various topics, including abortion and reproductive rights.

We remain open to criticism and suggestions that help us grow and mature, whilst appreciating the ongoing support of our members and our allies.

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.

LGBTIQ+ Youth Packs: Activities for youths

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.

  1. Fantasy Trip
  2. Sexual Orientation Fantasy Trip
  3. LGBTIQ Acronyms
  4. Gender Bread Person
  5. LGBTIQ Timeline

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.

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.

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.

MGRM Launches HIV Malta

MGRM Launches HIV Malta Campaign with a Three-Year Action Plan

The Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement (MGRM) has today launched its new HIV Malta campaign and website www.HIVMalta.com.  HIV Malta’s objectives are to destigmatise HIV, start a conversation on the subject by making information easily accessible, promote the importance of mental wellbeing, and ensure that there is an ongoing commitment to make newly developed HIV medication including that which is preventive, available without any further delay.

Given the significant global improvement in the understanding of the virus and new antiretrovirals (ARVs) with less side effects,  individuals living with HIV can now expect to live a normal healthy life. Research endorsed by WHO and the CDC shows that effective treatment suppresses the viral load making the virus undetectable and therefore untransmittable (Undetectable = Untransmittable, or U=U). This can only be achieved through rapid and unobstructed access to modern medicine and treatment, with the best results seen in those countries where treatment has been reduced from 5-6 a day to a single tablet a day.

The single-tablet treatment regimen is still not available in Malta.  Some of the drugs currently being administered have even, for long, been struck off from international medical guidelines (EACS and WHO).  Like other stakeholders, MGRM remains in the dark with respect to a Request for Proposals (RFP) for improved treatment launched in February 2019, and although imminent news is expected about new treatment, to date, there has been no consultation with us stakeholders. It also remains unclear whether additional services listed in the RFP would eventually lead to partial or total privatisation of HIV-related care which is very much a public matter.  Questions on whether this would require sharing of data also remained unanswered.

Similarly, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), a pill  which reduces the risk of acquiring HIV by over 99%, remains not affordable for the most members of society and might therefore not be accessible by those who would mostly benefit from it.  Although this is a marked improvement over the previous situation where PrEP was not available locally, we cannot help but comment on the fact that the same generic treatment sold in Malta at a price of EUR 57, is available for purchase online, and in several other European countries, at around half the price.  

Even more shockingly, Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), an emergency treatment administered after possible exposure to HIV, provided solely at Mater Dei comes at  EUR 600, notwithstanding the continuous and repeated appeals to make it free. Individuals who are unable to afford paying this unreasonable price are turned away.  This irresponsible approach to preventative treatment comes at the expense of avoidable HIV diagnosis, and the financial cost of a lifetime of care and treatment.

Against this background, MGRM will be announcing several projects, including a new messaging campaign on dating apps, and other specific projects within different sectors of the community.  HIV Malta aims to work in tandem with other NGOs and stakeholders including PrEPingMalta, the Allied Rainbow Communities and the newly set-up Checkpoint Malta to bring this plan to fruition.

Furthermore, the Rainbow Support Services which is now in its sixth year, remains committed to enhancing the quality of life of LGBTIQ individuals including those living with HIV, through the provision of information, consultation and psycho-social welfare services.

MGRM – HIV Malta
Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement
HIVMalta.com