Category: News

18 years of MGRM: Celebrating battles, achievements and pride

One of the first websites which pops up on one’s web searcher when looking up “Gay rights in Malta” is the Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement, better known as MGRM. For the past 18 years MGRM has been behind the biggest LGBTQ+ achievements on the local scene, and although the NGO is still in its teen years, it has seen many battles, losses and achievements; from the launch of the first National Gay Helpline, the first Pride March in 2004 and in most recent years Marriage Equality. COLETTE FARRUGIA BENNETT is one of the first committee members of MGRM and till this day is working towards educating society on issues and challenges the LGBTQ+ community face, in hope to make life easier not just for the community but everyone else.

COLETTE FARRUGIA BENNETT

COLETTE FARRUGIA BENNETT

We were scared no one would show up: 2004 first Malta Pride

Today, Pride March is celebrated among thousands – people from the LGBTQ+ community, allies, politicians and activists all come together to march for the political reasons and party to celebrate the achievements of the community. Yet, it was not always this way. Colette reflects back to when the MGRM committee first started thinking about hosting a Pride March in Malta. “Back in 2001, Pride March was a big thing abroad, but we were not sure whether the Maltese society was ready for a public demonstration of homosexuality!” She explained that in 2002 and 2003, while there was no Pride March, MGRM organised Diversity Week, a number of events to bring people together and promote more awareness on the community. “We were a group of people with a lot of energy and very little experience but were good fun. We had also organised a ShOUT festival, which was an open air performance on stage with a variety of performances.”ADVERTISEMENT

2004

In 2004, Colette and other committee members decided to plan the first Pride March. “We put up posters around Malta in the middle of the night! I remember on the day there were quite a few police, as they did not know what to expect on the day; both from our side and the public.” She explained that they initially wanted to make a statement; apart from carrying a rainbow flag made out of balloons they also marched with a banner which read Gay Rights equals Human Rights. Collette remembered feeling anxious and nervous on the day, not knowing what to expect from society.

“There were important people there who put their face out and stood by us, Minister Evarist Bartolo, Louise Galea, Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, Alternattiva Demokratika and Moviment Graffiti. There were more allies than the LGBT community itself and at times that was the running joke for the first few Pride marches. It was a frustrating feeling, although you would invite other LGBTQ+ people they would come up with an excuse, it was frustrating to always put your face out there and very few would follow us. Today the situation is very different and Pride is a much bigger event, yet at times it has become more commercial, which can at times be problematic when highlighting the issues we are fighting for.” She explained that the political message of Pride needs to remain present, that although Malta has advanced in laws and has become more accepting in the past few years, there are a number of countries where it is still a criminal offence to be homosexual and transgender.

“Our message for Pride would be to continue educating society and raising awareness; making life easier for those people facing a challenge with homophobia and transphobia. Secondly, we want to raise awareness of HIV transmissions and the importance of medical and psychological care for those people living with HIV. The reality of living with HIV is very different to what it was in the 90s but it is still important to understand the transmission of HIV and STI’s.”

2008

MGRM has helped me become an activist who is always keen to learn more about people

Collette joined MGRM in 2001, when she was still a first year student at University reading a degree in social work. She remembers that before joining the NGO she recalls the birth of another organisation, Gay and Lesbian Civil Rights Movement. “I remember sitting in front of the TV watching the press conference and thinking finally people are coming together to speak about the LGBTQ+ movement!” Although the group was short-lived, some members came together to create MGRM.

2012

“I started volunteering and I became part of this organisation. Before MGRM, my life was very different. I was a passive teenager who wasn’t involved in activism. Joining MGRM and volunteering in the national Gay helpline, I became more active and keen on learning more about the situation both on a local scale and also on what is happening abroad. Nowadays this information is my bread and butter and the knowledge is ingrained in me now.” She explained that she feels privileged to have learnt so much about the community and to have had the chance to travel and learn more by attending numerous forums, trainings and conferences.

2013

She explained that her own studies and research also looked into the LGBTQ+ community. Her first dissertation was about the visibility of bisexuals and lesbians in terms of how social workers view such populations and she explained that the eight-year gap between her first dissertation and her masters shows that there was an improvement in the attitudes towards LGBTQ+ people in society. “Over the years, many people have come to the MGRM offices to seek out support. We have seen so many people sit in this counselling space, young people telling us that their parents have been abusive or unsupportive. Now, the situation has changed; not that we do not have these people seeking support, but now we have parents seeking advice on how to support their son or daughter who just came out. They come to us for support and a safe place to discuss what they are feeling.” She said that while society has changed drastically, there are still many other changes to be done. There is still homophobia and transphobia which is still being worked on. Yet there is hope for the future. “We have had information sessions with Education Minister Evarist Bartolo and trans young people, alongside numerous meetings with schools from different backgrounds to highlight more awareness on LGBTQ+ youths. We also had the opportunity to train the psycho-social teams of Catholic schools; we don’t expect people to become experts but to know that if someone out there needs more support outside of the schools, we are here.”

2016

2017

Pride is showing solidarity among one another regardless of our gender and sexual orientation

Colette explained that the meaning of Pride goes way back to 2004; although times have changed, they still march for the same reasons. “We wanted to be heard, counted and considered as equal citizens. As much as equality has improved, there are still inequalities and injustices taking place. Yes, we should celebrate, celebrate diversity, complement one another and come together regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.”

Source: Malta Independent

Gay men will be allowed to donate blood as of next week

Gay men will be allowed to donate blood as of next week, with a blanket ban on blood donation for men who have sexual relationships with other men (MSM) being lifted.

The ban was lifted after the National Blood Transfusion Service acquired advanced testing equipment. 

Last year around 17,000 people visited the Blood Donation Unit and gave their blood, Health Minister Chris Fearne said on Wednesday.

That number is expected to rise now that the specialised equipment will allow for Nucleic Acid Testing.

This type of testing will allow testers to identify HIV and other viruses in the blood earlier, as it tests for genetic material rather than antigens or antibodies.

A spokesman for the National Blood Transfusion Service said that restrictions for MSM had been eased and that gay men would be able to donate blood after abstaining from sex for one year.

Dr Fearne said despite launching with an initial one-year deferral period, this may eventually be trimmed down to four months after epidemiological results from the new NAT testing are verified. 

Pride Week timing

In reaction, the Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement (MGRM) welcomed the news that gay men would now be able to donate blood. They however noted that the announcement coincided conveniently close to ongoing Pride Week celebrations.

MGRM has insisted that, given the effectiveness of modern testing equipment, it is no longer reasonable to require long periods of abstinence from people, especially those in monogamous relationships, to be able to donate blood.

The NGO said that it has always been open to dialogue in order to better contribute to matters of sexual health as well in the noble gesture of donating blood. 

Source: Times of Malta

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

NGOs call on Malta to disembark stranded migrants in the face of EU’s ‘callous disregard for human life’

Malta should intervene and offer a safe port of disembarkation to migrants currently stranded on board NGO-operated rescue vessels, 23 NGOs said on Friday.

Some 350 migrants are currently waiting on board the Ocean Viking rescue vessel, which is operated by Doctors Without Borders and the NGO SOS Mediterranee, after having been rescued earlier in the week.

“As Malta swelters in the summer heat, over 350 men, women and children are out at sea, stranded aboard rescue vessels waiting to be allowed to land,” the NGOs said.  

They added that despite repeated requests to Italy and Malta for a safe port, to date neither member state has allowed disembarkation and none of the member states of the EU have stepped in to offer refuge to those on board.

“As days turn into weeks and EU member states continue to drag their feet, conditions on board the two ships worsen and people’s life and safety are compromised.”

The NGOs said that “in the face of this callous disregard for human life” they were urging Malta to “once again lead by example and to allow the people stranded on board the rescue vessels to disembark in Malta.

This should be done irrespective of whether Malta was legally responsible for their disembarkation in terms of international law.

SOS MEDITERRANEE@SOSMedIntl

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At 1pm on August 12, Antonin, @SOSMedIntl rescuer, was on bridge watch onboard the #OceanViking when he spotted a blurred shape on the horizon. It turned out it was a rubber boat about to deflate with 105 people on it.

On board now, 356 survivors waiting for a place of safety.

Embedded video

453:56 PM – Aug 15, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy27 people are talking about this

They said it was unacceptable to argue that the migrants should be returned to Libya, where they risk imprisonment in inhuman conditions, torture, rape and slavery. “Libya cannot be considered a safe port by any definition, so it is imperative that another solution is found for the rescued migrants.”

“It is equally objectionable to imply that any state is somehow justified in refusing to allow the disembarkation of people rescued by NGOs. International maritime law is clear: the priority is to save lives and to ensure disembarkation in a place of safety, regardless of who conducted the rescue. Saving lives is therefore a legal obligation, and under no circumstances can it be considered wrong or – at worst – a crime,” the NGOs said.

member states, have a legal obligation to offer refuge to people fleeing persecution, the NGO said, adding that Europe closing its doors to such people was “beyond reprehensible”.

The Ocean Viking was situated to the north-west of Malta on Friday afternoon

The Ocean Viking was situated to the north-west of Malta on Friday afternoon

Finally, they added that it was clear that countries like Malta, Italy and Greece could not and should not be left to deal with this “European challenge” alone.

Furthermore, it is amply clear that the member states at the external borders of Europe, like Malta, Italy and Greece, cannot and should not be left to deal with this European challenge alone.

European Union institutions and member states, the NGOs said, need to take collective responsibility for the “tragedy unfolding on Europe’s doorstep” and to take concrete steps to ensure that, wherever they are disembarked, people are received in conditions of dignity.

The NGOs that signed the statement are:

aditus foundation, African Media Association Malta, Allied Rainbow Communities, Anti-Poverty Forum Malta, Caritas Malta, The Critical Institute, Drachma LGBTI, Drachma Parents Group, Integra Foundation, Isles of the Left, Jesuit Refugee Service, Kopin, LGBTI+ Gozo, Malta Emigrants’ Commission, Maltese Association of Psychiatry, Men Against Violence, MGRM-Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement, Moviment Graffitti, OASI Foundation, Office of the Dean – Faculty of Education University of Malta, People for Change Foundation, Richmond Foundation, SOS Malta, SPARK 15.   

Source: Malta Today

Gay men will have to go one year without sex to donate blood

Gay men will only be allowed to donate blood if they abstain from sex for at least one year prior – and authorities have yet to say when blood donations from gay donors will be allowed.  

Following reports that men who have sex with men (MSM) would be able to give blood by the end of summer, a spokeswoman for the Health Ministry told Times of Malta “final preparations” were under way but did not specify a date by when the system is expected to be functioning. Similar announcements were made in August last year, this January and again in April.

The spokeswoman did not specify either whether the one-year deferral period would distinguish between MSM who have had multiple partners or those in monogamous relationships. They only said that the deferral period would be reviewed periodically.

“There are various factors to consider when deferral criteria for any situation are applied,” the spokeswoman said.

How do other countries handle donations from gay men?

Deferral periods for MSM vary from country to country. In Italy, Spain, Poland and Russia, among others, no deferral policies are in place. Instead, individual sexual risk evaluations are carried out, followed by testing.

In the UK and Canada, the deferral period is set at three months.

Denmark is expected to lift its ban on MSM blood donations and set the deferral period to three months. France will be cutting the deferral period from one year to four months.

Other countries, such as the USA, Finland and Sweden, have one-year deferral periods in place. 

What do LGBTIQ activists say?

LGBTIQ activists welcomed the news that gay men would be allowed to donate blood.

However, they said that continuous sexual health awareness was critical and that better resources should be allocated to the GU clinic to allow conscientious people to assume responsibility for their sexual health before considering donating blood.

A spokesman for the Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement (MGRM) said that, given the effectiveness of modern testing equipment, the prohibition of MSM from blood donation had not been justified for some years.

“It is especially discriminatory to exclude those in a monogamous relationship, regardless of their sexuality, from being able to participate in the noble act of donating blood, potentially saving lives,” he commented.

Clayton Mercieca, community manager at Allied Rainbow Communities (Arc), said that while the rule change would allow MSM to donate blood, it did not represent and change in mindset and continued to feed into a stereotype about gay men that was resulting in ignorant and homophobic attitudes.

“We still are considered high risk, whether we engage in high-risk sexual activity or not,” Mr Mercieca told Times of Malta.

“It would be wiser to invest in more education and awareness about STIs and how they do not discriminate based on sexual orientation,” he said.

Both organisations shared their concerns about the situation at the GU clinic, which, they noted, was understaffed and where appointments for testing were being given with a waiting time of up to two months in some instances.

Source: Times of Malta

Transgender woman ‘punched in face’ at Msida bus stop

A transgender woman has claimed that she was punched in the face at an Msida bus stop in an apparent homophobic attack.

The woman, who was returning home from work, stopped on the Kulleġġ bus stop on the Msida waterfront at a pastizzeria on Sunday.

A man who frequents the shop often, the woman said, took issue with her presence and called her a homophobic slur.

She said that the man became violent when she answered back. He hit and punched her in the face and pulled out chunks of her hair.

“He raised his hand to me, he punched me in the face and ripped out my hair,” she said. 

“I tried to defend myself and that’s when people started to intervene.” 

The woman managed to snap a picture of her alleged attacker after the fact, which she posted onto social media.

A picture of the alleged aggressor taken by victim

A picture of the alleged aggressor taken by victim

Speaking to Times of Malta, the woman said that while LGBTIQ people enjoyed many rights on paper, the reality on the ground was that attacks such as this one happen with some frequency to several people in the community.

“The thing that hurts me the most is that transgender people who came out in the 80s and 90’s cannot move forward. They keep getting attacked and labelled with their past, they are ignored by society and it doesn’t get better for them.”

The woman said she would not be pursuing the matter with the police as she has been in trouble with the law in the past and going back to the courts would only be “punishing” herself.

“I’m trying my best and I’m not hurting anyone, just let me live,” she said.

A spokesman for the Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement (MGRM) said that it is “unacceptable that in this day and age we still come across shameless acts of abuse in broad daylight, right in front of everybody.”

The woman’s identity is being withheld at her own request.

Source: Times of Malta

13 children’s organisations unite to speak with one voice

Thirteen organisations working with children have united under one umbrella network to serve as a united voice for children and to ensure their rights are enshrined in the law.

Called the Malta Children’s Associations Network (MaltaCAN), this new platform was inspired by Eurochild president Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca and is being set up to promote, foster and support children’s rights and child participatory mechanisms in Malta.

“This is the first network of its kind in Malta and I believe it will open up new possibilities for the effective implementation of children’s rights at a local level. It will also consolidate the efforts of all these 13 organisations – and others who wish to join – to achieve meaningful child participation in all sectors of our society,” President Emeritus Coleiro Preca said.

The network is being facilitated by the Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society as part of its fifth anniversary celebrations. It will be aligning its work to the UN Convention for the Rights of the Child, which celebrates its 30th Anniversary this year, and prioritising child participation through an integrative and collaborative approach.

The founding members include: the Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society, Assistance to Children in Care Association (ACICA), Birdlife Malta, Fondazzjoni Sebħ, Karl Vella Foundation, Church Schools Children’s Fund, Malta Dyslexia Association, Malta Girl Guides, MGRM, National Foster Care Association Malta (NFCAM), Right2Smile, Early Childhood Development Association Malta (ECDAM); Salesians of Don Bosco together with the Salesians Pastoral Youth Services.

Interested NGOs who would like to join MaltaCAN, are to get in touch with the network via e-mail on maltachildrensnetwork@gmail.com or contact MaltaCAN on Facebook.

Source: Times of Malta

A New Documentary About The Lives Of 5 Maltese Trans* People Is Premiering On Sette Giugno

Despite often being referred to as one of the world’s friendliest and safest countries, particularly in relation to the LGBT+ community, Malta still has a lot to learn about gender identity. There’s still a bit of a taboo and a level of stigma surrounding the trans community and the notion of gender fluidity.

One Maltese organisation is setting out to change this.

The Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM) is launching a new documentary about being a Trans individual in Malta

TRANSformazzjoni is a documentary that provides an insight into Trans peoples’ everyday lives in Malta. The documentary puts a spotlight on 5 Maltese Trans people from different walks of life giving full visibility to a wide range of people in the local Trans community, which all represent their own section of Maltese society that different people can relate to.

Directed by Olwyn Jo, known for her involvement in many local productions and music videos, TRANSformazzjoni will give viewers an insight into life as a member of the Trans community in Malta.

It follows the daily lives of Alex, Brenda, Lee, Reb and Roasrio; five local individuals of varying ages who identify as Trans*.

*The general definition of transgender is as follows; denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex. However, an individual’s gender identity is best only explained by the individual themselves. This will be further explored in the documentary, too.

TRANSformazzjoni will also serve as an educational tool, featuring the recent laws and policies directed to enhancing the lives of Trans people in Malta

You can catch the premiere of TRANSformazzjoni on the 7th of June at 7pm at the University of Malta, Valletta Campus. To book a place at the premiere, email or message them on Facebook. And keep an eye out on their socials for more information on where to catch the documentary after the premiere.

Source: LovinMalta

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Sexual Harrassment, Physical Assaults And Homophobic Teachers

Firsthand Accounts Of Malta’s LGBT+ Students Show We’ve Still Got A Long Way To Go

40% of students said that teachers ‘never intervened’ when they were present for episodes of bullying

While Malta tops the ranks in terms of LGBTQ+ legislation, we still have a lot of work to do in terms of day-to-day acceptance of minority groups and marginalised communities in general.

In fact, the latest study by the Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM) which focused on understanding the experiences of LGBTQ+ persons between the ages of 13 and 22 who had been in an educational institution for the 2016-2017 scholastic year, has proven that we still have a long way to go before Malta can truly claim that it is fully queer-friendly.

The 2017 Malta National School Climate Survey Report have found some damning statistics about the way LGBTQ+ student are treated in school, and how they in turn feel about the education system they were, or still are being raised in.

1. Safety at School

A scary number of respondents said they’ve experienced homophobia, biphobia or transphobia at school before.

Of the 139 students who participated in the study, half of them said they felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation

A further 41% felt unsafe due to their gender identity or the way they express their gender, with many respondents also saying they felt unsafe because of other uncontrollable characteristics, such as family income or disbaility among others.

Safety Pic

This lack of safety even causes students to miss lessons

With a number of students feeling uncomfortable and avoiding certain areas of the school such as locker rooms and hallways while over a quarter of them even skipped Physical Education (PE) Lessons completely.

Safety Pic 2

Over a third of the students (34%) felt so unsafe in their conditions that they missed at least one full day of school.

Quote 2

2. Harassment

In terms of homophobic language, 46.8% of students reported that they received derogatory comments such as pufta and linfa often or frequently. The study also found that 61.9% of these said that they received the insults from some or most students.

Many participants (33.1%) even said that some homophobic remarks came from teachers and members of staff

Pie Chart 1

For gender expression and identity, 49.3% and 40.3% of students received offensive and transphobic remarks often or frequently, respectively.

In brief, over half of respondents (59.4% and 55.5%) of participants reported being verbally harassed due to their sexual orientation and gender expression, while a further 36.1% experienced harassment based on their gender identity at least once in the previous scholastic year.

Quote 3
Pie Chart 2

Many respondents also said that they had been physically harassed because of their sexual and gender personality, with 22.6% for their sexual orientation, 21.7% for their gender expression and 14.9% for their gender identity.

Bar Chart 1

Unfortunately, some of the participants even reported being physically assaulted (punched, kicked, injured with a weapon)

8.6% of people said this occurred because of their sexual identity, 13% said it was because of their gender identity, and 8.8% said it was caused by their gender expression.

What makes these statistics even worse is that 40.4% of people said that teachers ‘never intervened’ when they were present for these types of bullying

Quote 5

3. The bullying unfortunately doesn’t stop there

Unfortunately, apart from the before mentioned harassment, many of the study’s participants also reported being victims of other forms of bullying, such as:

  • Being purposefully excluded (81.4%)
  • Had rumour spread about them (73.5%)
  • Cyberbullying (45%)
  • Broken or stolen property (30.9%)
  • Racist comments (54.7%)
  • Sexism (71.9%)

A terrifying 43.3% of LGBTQ+ students even reported being sexually harassed at school

Quote 4

On a slightly more positive note…

36.4% of respondents reported these forms of harassment and bullying to school staff, however only 11.7% did this ‘most of the time’.

At least, school staff apparently handled the situation ‘somewhat’ or ‘very effectively’ 32.1% of the time

Students also reportedly informed their parents or family members 36.4% of the time, but many of them (39.3%) never addressed it with any of the school staff.

Bar Chart 2

The only heartwarming fact highlighted in this study found that a whopping 95.6% of LGBTQ+ students said there was at least one supportive teacher or staff member at their school, and 62.2% said that they had six or more

Furthermore, 46.3% of people were accepting to the LGBTQ+ students, with some schools even reportedly having multiple students out of the closet.

Chart 1

Unfortunately, despite this, many schools still do not teach and inform young people about LGBTQ+ topics and history, which means that kids are often uninformed for certain important subjects such as sexual health

On the other hand, 40% of students say that sexual orientation, gender expression and gender identity were brought up and discussed during talks about violence.

Quote 6

How can we change these statistics?

The study found that a more inclusive environment made the student body as a whole a lot more accepting of LGBTQ+ people.

It was also concluded that more supportive teachers who actually intervene during homophobic and transphobic conflicts, and a more informative curriculum also helped queer individuals to feel safer, and which may be the reason that they missed less days of school than those LGBTQ+ students who felt unsafe or unhappy in their situation at school.

Chart 2
Chart 3

What’s the next step we need to take to ensure the safety of LGBTQ+ youth?

The survey report ends with a section listing a number of possible and, frankly, quite simple fixes to the current system that can significantly impact the student climates found in schools.

Implementing national, LGBTQ+ inclusive bullying policies that prevent victimisation, providing transgender and gender variant students with equal access to non-discriminatory facilities (such as gender-neutral bathrooms), and ensuring that school policies such as dress codes do not discriminate against queer students, are just a few of the suggestions put forward by the MGRM.

Quote 7

The quotes in purple are taken directly from some of the participants of The 2017 Malta National School Climate Survey Report

Source: Lovin Malta

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Malta l-aqwa fid-dinja fil-ġlieda kontra l-omofobija u l-protezzjoni abbażi tal-orjentazzjoni sesswali

Malta kklassifikat l-aqwa fid-dinja fil-ġlieda kontra l-omofobija u l-protezzjoni abbażi tal-orjentazzjoni sesswali. Dan ikkonfermatu l-Assoċjazzjoni Internazzjonali tal-Persuni Leżbjani, Gay, Bisesswali, Trans u Intersex f’rapport ippubblikat fi New Zealand.

Ir-rapport juri kif Malta hi l-unika pajjiż li ssodisfa l-kriterji kollha tal-ILGA World li jinkludu l-protezzjoni Kostituzzjonali, il-protezzjoni fil-liġi tax-xogħol, il-protezzjoni kontra kull forma ta’ diskriminazzjoni u mibegħda, iż-żwieġ ugwali u l-unjoni ċivili.  Kriterji oħra jinkludu addozzjoni konġunta jew addozzjoni mit-tieni ġenitur, u l-projbizzjoni ta’ prattiċi ta’ konverżjoni jew ir-riklamar tagħhom.

B’reazzjoni għal dan ir-rapport, il-Ministru Helena Dalli qalet kif dan ir-riżultat li ħareġ minn rapport li sar minn organizzazzjoni li ilha mwaqqfa għal erbgħin sena fejn spjegat kif għandna nkunu sodisfatti ferm b’din il-kisba.

“Hija xi ħaġa tajba u importanti li Malta tinsab l-ewwel fid-dinja fejn tidħol l-ugwaljanza. Qabel konna l-ewwel fl-ewropa issa ġejna l-ewwel fid-dinja. Meta tara l-pajjiżi li hemm warajna pereżempju l-aktar viċin tagħna huwa l-kanada. Huwa pajjiż avvanzat fejn tidħol ugwaljanza però għad ma jissodfiswawx il-kriterji kollha li trid tissodisfa skont dan ir-rapport biex ikollok ugwaljanza totali. Ovvjament aħna nieħdu gost għax in-nies qed igawdu mix-xogħol li għamilna f’leġislazzjoni f’dan il-qasam, issa qed jgħixu ħajja aħjar,” qalet il-Ministru Dalli.

Dan kien possibbli wara li l-Gvern implimenta numru ta’ riformi leġiżlattivi li poġġew lil Malta fil-quċċata Ewropea f’dan il-qasam.

Din l-aħbar issegwi dik li ħarġet ftit tal-jiem ilu meta pajjiżna għall-ewwel darba għamilha mal-aqwa għaxar destinazzjonijiet turistiċi għall-persuni LGBTIQ.

Source: one.com.mt