LGBTIQ families may discuss and receive professional advice at President’s Palace

The garden of the President’s Palace at San Anton will become the venue for meetings of the Rainbow Families Network, established through the initiative of the President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society. The network will bring together LGBTIQ families in a secure environment to discuss, among others, their challenges and to receive professional advice. During the network’s launching, President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca stressed on the need for a mentality change so that Malta’s achievements in this sector will reach their fullness.

Same-sex couples who are upbringing children and families with LGBTIQ children will be able to exchange their experiences in a secure environment….away from prejudices which at times they have to face.

The President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society and the LGBTIQ movement launched the Rainbow Families Network. The MGRM coordinator, Colette Farrugia Bennett, said that the project started after a number of LGBTIQ families confined with the movement that, on many occasions, they find it difficult to speak about their lives in an insecure environment.

“There are families out there who are living a very normal life by themselves; maybe they are not in contact with other families who have similar characteristics and believe that once they meet, they can learn more on how one can lead better certain similar challenges”, Colette Farrugia Bennett said.

The network will not only bring these families together, but they will also meet with professionals who assist them to address their challenges due to the sexual orientation of any member or members of their family.

Ms Farrugia Bennett added, “As a social worker I work a lot with families with trans children and youths, and I realize their feeling of loneliness. When I gathered together families, due to consultation or a personal request, I saw the result of parents speaking to other parents”.

Alex Caruana, a trans person, said he believes that Rainbow Families Network will be of assistance to trans youths who many times feel lost and alone, while their parents are provided with more information about their children’s body and their wish to change sex.

LGBTIQ Neil Falzon, parent of two children aged 11 and 8, spoke on the difference in values such as equality and the respect children receive in families.

President Coleiro Preca said that a change in society’s mentality is needed to ensure that laws, which placed the country in the forefront in the inclusion sector, are implemented. The President added that this network may be opened for other families in the future.