Featured Image (Generic Photo of Paceville) by Jan-Niklas Müller
Last Friday, a 21 year-old Maltese girl went to a club with her friends and was stopped by the bouncer and asked to show her ID card. But the girl had a shaved head, and the bouncer couldn’t accept that the person standing in front of him was a woman not a man. He rudely insisted that she was in fact a boy, and the exchange ended in him trying to grab her breasts to “see if they are real”.
The young girl had gone for the short trim as a style choice, nothing to do with her making a gender statement. But ever since, she has been receiving constant criticism from strangers.
A public post on Facebook that tells her story also describes a time where she went to a clinic for a check up and was told (note: not even asked) that “this is not you, you’re a boy.”
“_______ has cut her hair short. She is still a beautiful woman. But since then she has been experiencing abuse from the public. She had entered the clinic and the receptionist asked her for her ID card. The lady looks at ___ and told her this is not you, you’re a boy. ___ had to explain ‘I have cut my hair.’ ___ had to show her pictures of herself with long hair. The receptionist then stopped interrogating her because the other reception knew who she was. Over the month many people have seen her as a boy. Yes, it’s true that she will have her ID card photo changed to be more recognisable. But it’s not the point on the next story. This all doesn’t bother ___ because she likes her hair short and she knows that everyone sees each other differently. But there’s a limit. This time it has affected me as I am her mother and her protector.
Last night, she went out clubbing. The bodyguard asked ___ for her ID – she is 21 years old. The bodyguard said ‘this is not you, you’re a boy.’ ___ said ‘no I am a girl’. She had a jacket on she had to take the jacket off to show him she had breast. Then the bastard stretched out his hand out to touch her breasts saying that he needed to see if they are real. OMG I want to find this person and have him punished.
Discrimination at its worst. ____ don’t let anyone bring you down and affect your future because these people have a pea for a brain.”
Lovin Malta was told by the person responsible for the post that the bouncer then prodded the girl relentlessly, and the girl was by then “sick of hearing all this shit”.
“She said, ‘Do I need to pull my jacket off?’ and he said yes.” He then said that he needed to touch them to make sure that they’re real, and she quickly pulled back while he reached out to them.
“We need awareness for people on how they talk and approach others so that it doesn’t happen to any other girls.”
The comment section of the post has friends showing their support to the young girl and disgust towards the bouncer’s behaviour, while most agree that there needs to be more awareness on sexual harassment in Malta. Her closest friends also said they’ve filed an official complaint with the police.