Pride Marches are more important than ever in Malta, a country that has come a long way in the last decade in terms of LGBTQ+ rights. In 2014, Malta legalized same-sex marriage, and in 2021, it passed a law banning conversion therapy. However, there is still work to be done.
Pride Marches are a way to celebrate the progress that has been made in Malta, and to call for action to address the challenges that remain. They are a time for the LGBTQ+ community to come together and show the world that they are proud of who they are. They are also a time for allies to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community.
This year, Malta is hosting EuroPride, the largest Pride event in Europe. This is a major milestone for Malta, and it is a sign of the country’s commitment to equality and inclusion. The EuroPride march will be a powerful demonstration of the strength and resilience of the LGBTQ+ community in Malta. It will also be a call to action for everyone to work together to create a more just and equitable society for all.
Wholeheartedly I do believe that we’ve come a very long way over the last years however there are still some things that we can all do together. Some of these things can be implemented from a legislation point of view such as;
- Enact comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation that explicitly protects LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in all areas of life, including employment, housing, education, and healthcare.
- Increase awareness of LGBTQ+ issues in schools and other educational settings, and train teachers and other staff on how to create inclusive and supportive environments for LGBTQ+ students.
- Support LGBTQ+ organizations and initiatives that are working to promote equality and inclusion.
Challenge and call out homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia in all its forms.
- Make sure that LGBTQ+ people are represented in all levels of government and society.
Then there are other things that I believe we can do as a society by means of education. The more we teach each other about equality, the better society will ultimately be. Some of these things are;
- Teach about LGBTQ+ history and culture. This can help students to understand the experiences of LGBTQ+ people and to challenge stereotypes and assumptions.
- Promote positive representations of LGBTQ+ people in the curriculum. This can be done by including books, films, and other materials that feature LGBTQ+ characters in positive and affirming ways.
- Create a safe and supportive environment for LGBTQ+ students. This means addressing bullying and harassment, and creating a culture where everyone feels welcome and respected.
- Provide training for teachers and staff on how to create inclusive and supportive environments for LGBTQ+ students. This training should cover topics such as implicit bias, microaggressions, and creating a safe space for all students.
- Partner with community organizations that are working to promote equality for LGBTQ+ people. This can help to bring in resources and expertise, and to create a more connected and supportive community.
Although I do believe in such education, I’m also a realist and believe that nothing should be forcefully “shoved down people’s” throat’s and everyone should be sensitive to people’s believes. Although education should be offered to everyone, we still need to understand that not everyone will be receptive to it. The important thing is that we instil a culture of sensitivity that even if someone doesn’t want to educate themselves about inclusivity at the very least they’re educated enough to accept and learn to live with people that doesn’t conform to their idea of a family.
EuroPride is a celebration of LGBTQ+ pride and equality. It is a time for people to come together and show the world that they are proud of who they are. It is also a time to raise awareness of the challenges that LGBTQ+ people face, and to call for action to create a more just and equitable society for all.
Coming out of the closet can be a difficult and scary experience, especially in countries where LGBTQ+ people (unlike here in Malta) are not safe. However, it is important to remember that you are not alone. There are many people who support you, and there are many resources available to help you.
It is also important to remember that you do not have to come out if you are not ready. You can take your time and come out when you feel safe and comfortable.
No matter when or how you choose to come out, know that you are loved and supported. You deserve to live in a country that makes you feel safe and respected, regardless of your sexual orientation or gender identity. And even if you don’t feel safe to come out, we will still protect you.
EuroPride is a time to celebrate the progress that has been made for LGBTQ+ rights, but it is also a time to remember that there is still work to be done. We need to continue to fight for equality for all LGBTQ+ people, and we need to create a society where everyone feels safe and respected, regardless of their identity.
From my end I will always promise each and everyone one of you, that if you ever need a safe place, my home is your home. I’ve been an ally all my life and I promise you that I will always be.