LGBT+ rights have come far in Malta in the past few years, mainly thanks to changes in legislation, but also due to our cultural overhaul. The island’s population has made it clear that it stands behind people’s right to express their sexual identities and orientations, and for that, we have a lot to be proud of.
ARC Malta (Allied Rainbow Communities) are the people behind Malta’s fabulous annual Pride Parades and they’re back this September with a week of very gay festivities.
With everything ‘From Riots to Rainbows’ (that’s this year’s theme), there’s something for everyone at Malta Pride 2019, no matter your orientation!
Posted by Malta Pride on Friday, April 19, 2019
The week kicks off on September 6th (the one-year anniversary of India decriminalising gay sex) and will run for a full seven days of celebration, inclusion and education.
With 50 years passing since the Stonewall Riots of ‘69, ARC’s idea for this year is to lead the way with as many community-led initiatives as possible to celebrate diversity.
So far, we can expect the usual Pride March to take place on Saturday the 14th, and a free concert to close the night off with.
1. Queens Ahoy!
Rumour has it that UK drag superstars La Voix and Alyssa van Delle are due to perform over the course of the week, and will be marching alongside all of you in attendance. Peter Carbonaro (of X Factor Malta’s production team and a whole lot of stylish shoots) will be adding his personal flair as Creative Director for the acts.
Alyssa tours regularly with Drag Race alumni across the UK, Italy and even as far out as Mykonos, where she works with Klub Kids (the team behind drag royalty Alaska).
La Voix will be dazzling us with her killer vocals when she takes the stage with Orpheum Cabaret, in the style of some of the world’s biggest divas. She’s got Cher down to a tee, can give Liza a run for her money and put even the real Shirley Bassey to shame.
Both queens will be bringing their comedy A-game to the table, bedecked in the brightest, most magnificent gowns you’re ever likely to see in Malta.
2. The perfect time for some awareness raising
Locally-known HIV activist Chris Vincent will be back on the rock to talk to us about some serious and pressing issues – chemsex, sexual health and the stigma surrounding HIV & AIDs.
If you don’t know who Chris is, you may have been living under a rock. He’s the guy who gave out free hugs in Valletta to raise awareness on the misconceptions of HIV.
The other day, I asked people what they thought were the issues that the LGBTQ+ community faces within itself.I've never had this much activity on instagram. I drowned in responses and reactions, also in my DMs, and to be honest, reading through the whole thing is heartbreaking.I've posted some (which is still a LOT of) responses – the difference is that you guys don't get to see the issues connected with a face.I did. And every response become a little window of hurt into that persons life, and that's what makes it so heartbreaking. I just want to thank everyone who shared their thoughts and struggles with me, and reassure you that it is my strong belief that your issue is OUR issue.We're gonna perpetually struggle for acceptance for as long as we lack the ability to accept each other.My personal struggle is connected to HIV, which is why that is a big focus for me. That does not mean for one second that I don't understand that there are many more issues to face than HIV stigma.My experience, understanding and knowledge drives my necessity for action in that field.Find out what drives you, take action, make change.Never let what you are or what you have come between you and your ambitions in life. You're an important piece of the puzzle.Hugs (as many as you can handle!),Chris__________Thanks to Lovin Malta for teaming up with me for this, and for letting me repost it.
Posted by Chris Vincent on Tuesday, June 18, 2019
3. Get ready for a long to-do list
Obviously, there will be xeba parties – the LGBT+ crowd knows how to have fun!
And even for those of us who usually prefer a quiet night in, there are also Queer Film Nights planned for the duration of the week. There’s a sports tournament for the athletes among us, community-headed discussions taking place throughout the week, and if that still isn’t enough to satisfy your Pride hunger, there’s even a fashion night planned. Sissy that walk!
No car? No problem!
The team behind Pride 2019 are looking into organising a Pride Bus to facilitate safe and reliable travel to and from the festivities. If you haven’t gotten your license yet (we’ve all been there) or just want to do your part for the environment on the day, just fill in this form and stay tuned for updates.
This year’s Pride events are all sponsored by some awesome peeps: Absolut, LeoVegas, Vodafone and the Malta Tourism Authority & AirMalta, MAC Cosmetics, 89.7Bay… and yours truly, of course.
But the main sponsor for 2019 is our very own homegrown iGaming hub YoBetIt. As the event is non-profit and organised by an NGO, they are always open to growing their sponsorships. In fact, this year ARC launched a crowdfunding campaign open to the public with a pledge goal total of €5,000. Those reaching deep enough into their pockets to donate €10 or more will be rewarded with official Malta Pride merchandise.
Pride events depend heavily on fundraising and sponsorships, and the global impact of these kinds of events is fundamental to ensuring that gay rights are not temporary acts of pandering, but provide a real social change.
For those of you who identify with any colour of the rainbow, we also recommend you check out (and fill in) the EU Fundamental Rights Agency who launched their EU-wide LGBT+ survey, requesting first-hand insight into the lives of LGBT+ individuals living in the European Union. The data gathered from the survey results will help fuel the dissolution of issues faced by the queer community throughout Europe.
Malta currently ranks #1 for equal rights. We ought to ride this wave for all it’s worth and continue to show our support for those in minority communities, both locally and abroad.
Show your colours, wave your flag, donate to the causes and leave your mark on Malta Pride 2019. We hope to see you marching alongside our brothers and sisters!