The President has launched a video featuring five LGBTIQ families, insisting that prejudice could be overcome by sharing true narratives.

“I appeal to the Maltese to not just celebrate reforms in our legislation but to also be progressive and be aware of what our society is composed of,” President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca said at San Anton Palace in Balzan.

“Our society, like any other, is composed of each and every one of us and we need to show the respect, dignity and love that each and every one of us deserves.”

Called #OurChildrenAreAlright, the video, produced with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, shines the spotlight on five families who decided to give up their privacy and share their realties.

More people can achieve well-being

Produced by the President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society, the video is intended to sensitise the public to gradually change their mentality and accept that LGBTIQ families are no different to heterosexual ones. It highlights the fact that they face the same struggles as parents and children but, as a consequence of society’s prejudices, their struggles become much harder.

Elaine Micallef, who led the project on behalf of the foundation, said that, as a mother of two living in a same-sex relationship, she was filled with hope that the video would reach its objectives and raise awareness and understanding that LGBTIQ families were the same as any other family.

Director General Ruth Farrugia noted that some of the foundation’s work did not hit the headlines and was carried out in private. However, other initiatives became public, as it believed that they could be inspirational and promote a spirit of inclusion and solidarity. The video did just that: it celebrated diversity and supported opportunities for new relationships to flourish.

“We are aware that a few of these stories may have an impact on the extended family and wish to acknowledge the hurt and shame experienced by some.

“It is our belief that by supporting people to safely be who they are rather than who they feel they are expected to be, more people can achieve well-being without collateral damage,” Dr Farrugia said.

In their own words

David: “I used to tell myself: ‘In my life, I’m an actor on a stage, performing for the people around me just to be liked’.”

Paul: “I hid. I took quite a difficult road and I didn’t only hurt myself. I obviously hurt a lot of people around me.”

Kris: “We had to come out of the closet as gay people and now we have to come out of the closet as parents.”

Graziella: “The difference is the attitude at home and how you bring up your child.”

Jane: “We don’t teach our kids to be gay. We live normally. We have struggles like each other family. We have to pay the bills. We have to make money and we have to work.”

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