Popular Maltese transgender model Karly May has said she is fearing for her safety for the first time in her life following a reported attack on another transgender woman at a bus stop in Msida.
“I’ll be honest, I’ve felt uncomfortable and angry many times when people were blatantly talking about my gender identity, however I don’t believe I’ve ever experienced fear because rationally I can’t see why a person should be abused because they are who they are,” Karly wrote.
“Now I am questioning all the times that I might have been in real danger but just shrugged it off as a thing that wont happen to me in Malta. While many may argue that this is a one off case, this is far from the truth since many reports go unreported due to fear or shame.”
“No matter what, no one should feel unsafe because of their gender identity.”
Karly said she could see the worry in her parents’ eyes when she told them about the incident.
“My father in particularly is still not completely on board about my being so public about my gender identity and for the first time since launching Karly May, I understand his concerns,” she said.
“However, I want to reach out to my sisters and pledge to them that I will continue to use my platform to raise more awareness because that is what our community does and I invite you, our allies, yo continue to support us in our struggle for real acceptance.”
Earlier this week, a Maltese transgender woman said she was physically attacked without instigation at a bus stop in Msida. The woman said she had ordered two ricotta pastizzi from a pastizzeria but was told by a man that she should “go for the sausage roll as it would suit her more”.
The man allegedly called the woman “a fucking pufta” and proceeded to physically attack her, pulling her hair when she had stood her ground.
The Malta Gay Rights Movement condemned the incident as shameless and unacceptable, while the Equality Ministry reached out to the woman to inform her of her legal rights.
Police have yet to confirm whether they are investigating the case.