Gay rights movement launch anti-bullying campaign

MGRM launch ‘Think before you speak: Making life better for LGBT youth’ sponsored by Voices Foundation.

The Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM) in collaboration with Drachma Group – a Catholic LGBT movement – have launched a year-long campaign aiming to address difficulties LGBT youth face in a society which doers not necessarily accept them.

MGRM coordinator Gabi Calleja said this campaign is being entirely sponsored by the Voices Foundation. The sponsorship amounts to €9,000.

Voices Foundation representative Adrian Mamo said Voices was pleased to be sponsoring this campaign and is proud to once again sponsor a honourable cause. Over the last 20 years Voices has sponsored a variety of causes such as a campaign on refugees some 15 years ago. Voices does not only make its own voice heard on stage but we also give a voice to the voiceless.”

Drachma Group representative Anthony Girard said the Catholic LGBT group was set up to offer support to parents of LGBT youth who live in denial and cannot accept their sons’ and daughters’ sexuality.

Girard also added that the Drachma Group had met Archbishop Cremona and PL leader Joseph Muscat and the Labour LGBT section. Girard said both meetings where cordial and productive. He also said that the Catholic group is not a political movement and is open to any invitation and willing to meet the PN and other entities.

MGRM coordinator Gabi Calleja said the campaign consists of video clips, posters and other material which will be made available to all school teachers and youth workers. The campaign focuses on four main messages which target language, bullying, LGBT youths facing difficulties and parents of LGBT youth.

Calleja said MGRM have already contacted the Personal Social Development (PSD) officer within the Education Department and although the department has not seen and approved the material, the first reactions were positive and the department has shown its good will to collaborate.

Calleja said the campaign will not only be held in state schools. “MGRM is optimistic that the Education Department will collaborate as it has done in recent years and the video clips, posters and other material will be distributed and used in all secondary and post-secondary schools.” 

Calleja also said that MGRM have recently sent their recommendations to the Directorate for Quality and Standards in Education (DQSE) in regards to the National Curriculum Framework.

Calleja said the document includes the principle of diversity and mentions specific grounds such as “age, gender, beliefs, personal development, socio-cultural background and geographical location” and “learners’ identities, their language competence, intellectual abilities, aptitudes, interests and talents”.

However she said that nowhere in the National Curriculum Framework document was there any reference to sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. “These are issues which remain unmentioned normally remain unresolved,” Calleja said.

Calleja said MGRM received notification from DQSE but have yet to receive an invitation for further consultation meetings.

Calleja also noted that MGRM have also launched a new webpage. Composer, pianist and satirical song writer, Alex Vella Gregor performed two of his songs at the launch.

Calleja also announced that MGRM would be shortly presenting their position paper on equality in marriage later this month.

Source: maltatoday