The Malta Independent 18 November 2017, Saturday

#OurChildrenAreAlright video looks into the everyday lives of Malta’s LGBTIQ families

Wednesday, 30 August 2017, 13:01 Last update: about 4 months ago

President Marie Louise Coleiro-Preca this morning launched a warm and natural video depicting the lives of five LGBTIQ families living in Malta.

The video, themed #OurChildrenAreAlright, turns the spotlight on five different   families who have taken the difficult and brave decision to give up their privacy and share their realties with society.

The families are made up of different forms, making the footage all the more real in view of the different circumstances all families find themselves in. Among the various families, a gay couple who adopted a baby with disabilities is depicted, another couple where one of the men is the natural born father of a young woman from a previous relationship and a couple who adopted a small child from overseas.

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Like with heterosexual families, different life experiences mean that no two families are exactly the same. The video is aimed at showing how whichever genders make up a family does not them different in any way. One of the parents from the video explained how like everyone else, there are school bills to pay, home loans, jobs to go to and that ultimately, life’s daily grind is more or less the same for all.

Produced by the President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society, the video is intended to sensitise the public towards gradually changing their mentality and accepting that LGBTIQ families are no different than other heterosexual families. They face the same struggles as parents and children, but as a consequence of society’s prejudices their struggles become much harder.

"This groundbreaking video, produced by my Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society, highlights the importance of creating inclusive and safe spaces, for families of all kinds, within Maltese society,” President Coleiro Preca said.

The video was shown at the President’s Palace in Attard, with the screening hall buzzing with excitement and warmth. The footage appeared to have done its job in that the room was silent while the movie was being shown and an emotional atmosphere could be felt afterwards.

The testimonies were delivered by each family in their personal living rooms, which further drove the feeling of intimacy and realness to the audience. One testimony by an adult child of a gay couple explained how small children at school do not think to bully other children for having gay parents all on their own. It is what they are exposed to that leads to such behaviour, therefore more often than not it is the parents of children that need to be educated in respect and inclusiveness rather than the children themselves.

The woman spoke of how attitudes have improved over the last few years however a concerted effort needs to be made in order to help push this feeling of inclusivity.

 “By showing the lived experiences of LGBTIQ families, we want to encourage and promote a culture of inclusion and respect. We want to contribute to a culture of positive peace, where the dignity of each and every person is truly safeguarded,” President Coleiro Preca said.

“Thanks to this video, my Foundation has provided a platform to share and to celebrate the narratives of diverse people within Malta's LGBTIQ community,” she added.

The video, produced by psychologist Cher V. Laurenti Engerer and supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, is intended to help parents — LGBTIQ or heterosexual — to create an honest dialogue with their children.

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

The objective of this video is to give a voice to LGBTIQ parents through a personalised narrative that the community can identify with.

Short remarks were delivered by Mr Russel Sammut from the Malta Pride 2017 Organising Committee, Dr Ruth Baldacchino, co-secretary general of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association and Dr Ruth Farrugia, Director- General from the President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society.

 

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