The Malta Independent 23 January 2020, Thursday

‘Never apologise for who you love’ - children discussing importance of Pride Week

Giulia Magri Wednesday, 11 September 2019, 12:38 Last update: about 5 months ago

Ten children spent their Tuesday afternoon together discussing and sharing what they understand by Pride and why the LGBTIQ+ community still needs one day a year to march for their rights in 2019.

The “It’s Ok 2b different!” activity was held at Agenzija Zghazagh, where Angie Caruana, coordinator of the Children’s Hub within the Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society, sat down with the children and started the afternoon off with an activity called ‘check-in’. She explained that it is important for everyone to introduce one another and to check in with how they are feeling. All the children were excited and happy to be part of the activity and to learn more about the LGBTIQ+ community. Some children came from the Rainbow Families Network.

The children all come from different family compositions. Whilst some came from same-sex families, others came from heterosexual families. All children had the same thoughts on pride, that love is love no matter what gender. “I wish more adults would have the same mentality as you children do,” Angie said.

Angie had prepared a series of short educational videos explaining the Stonewall Riots and the LGBTIQ+ community. Some children found the video to be interesting, and that videos were important to raise awareness regarding the difficulty the LGBTIQ+ community faced in the past.

Angie asked whether any children every attended pride before and a few explained how they felt. “There are so many colours, music, dancing and floats! People are expressing themselves and everyone is very happy”, one child said with a smile on her face. Another whilst happy that pride was fun and colourful, couldn’t understand why the LGBTIQ+ community still faces discrimination and people who are hateful towards them.

Angie explained that whilst Malta has improved a lot and the laws have changed, working on mentality is the next step forward and that people need to become more understanding and open to diversity.

“We are lucky that we have these changes in the law, and we must remember that we march not just for fun, but because there are other countries abroad where it is still illegal to be part of the LGBTIQ+ community,” explained Angie.

After the videos, the children stood up, and with paper in one hand and colours in the other began to design their t-shirts for pride march. “love is love”, “equality matters” and “Never apologise for who you love” were quotes which were written on these blank canvas t-shirts. Some other children drew their family and pets and all were smiling.

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