Following a meeting held with the KSU Social Policy and Education Commission on the 13th of September, a few points and suggestions were raised with regard to Pride and LGBTQ+ issues in Malta.
The Commission was split into five groups and each group was presented with a few questions concerned with the topic of Pride in Malta. Below is a summary of the points mentioned by each group:
There is a lack of artistic expression at the University, and so an emphasis was made on the need for more representation on campus in the form of training and artistic expression to reflect the policies currently in place in favor of the LGBTQ+ community.
EuroPride being held in Malta next year is a step in the right direction and this will increase international involvement here in Malta. Even though the younger generations in Malta generally have an open-minded perspective regarding the LGBTQ+ community, more work needs to be done to help the older generations be more accepting and inclusive in order to make Malta a safer space. This is needed especially for LGBTQ+ refugees who flee their countries and relocate to Malta.
Social and Political Wellbeing
Malta has a good legal backing on LGBTQ+ rights, in theory, however, it was mentioned that this is not always represented in the Maltese mentality and that homophobia is still very much observed in different forms. The current laws need to be better enforced, and there needs to be more education from younger ages and campaigns to improve the situation.
From a health perspective, more education and awareness need to be raised on the mental health of LGBTQ+ individuals, as this has become a growing concern as of late. An emphasis was also made on the poor sex education offered here in Malta. It was suggested that more comprehensive training should be provided across the board to people working in all types of professions, to better the situation and reduce the stigma related to sex and mental health.
Furthermore, LGBTQ+ people with disabilities are even less represented due to being double minorities and this further negatively affects their overall well-being. Awareness, representation, and accessibility are all imperative to ensure integration within society and reduce the stigma around disabled LGBTQ+ individuals.
The Pride march is a mass event that yields an amount of waste due to people using single-use products. Proper waste management and reusable products should be incentivised, along with the use of carpooling and public transport to reduce pollution. Additionally, it was suggested that in order to help foster a less threatening environment, perhaps police officers should attend in their casual clothes as opposed to their uniform during Pride.