As Pride Month in Malta is coming to a close, this organization has been up and running to spread awareness and help the LGBTI+ community in Gozo.
Firstly let’s meet the executive members:
- Eman Borg – President
- Reb Xiberras – Secretary General
- Jacques le Roux – Financial Officer
- Antoine Spiteri – Social Events Officer
- Wilbert Tabone – Digital Technology and Marketing Officer
- Antonella Bugeja – Membership and Outreach Officer
Pride Month for LGBTI+ Gozo was a hectic one and they got a lot of work done.
LGBTI+ Gozo shifted its work primary online during the COVID-19 pandemic with the focus on reaching the general public, both in Malta and Gozo, through their social media campaign – mostly Facebook and Instagram. This work was aimed to create a safe space during these trying times and ensure that individuals were aware that LGBTI+ Gozo is ready to offer its services to those in need.
From March onwards, LGTBI+ Gozo have worked on a number of online events. Earlier this year in May and recently on September 19th, LGBTI+ Gozo produced online events discussing the importance of IDAHOBIT and Pride in 2020. LGBTI+ Gozo invited a variety of speakers and activists interesting virtual meetings and discussions to discuss different topics as well as their own experiences in relation to Pride. Many of these guest speakers came from different LGBT organisations, to further increase their collective collaborations and strengthen the community on both islands.
LGTBI+ Gozo ensures to keep in contact with its members regularly by sending a monthly Members’ update where they ask for opinions about different topics relating to Gozo such as the importance of Pride or Sexual health in Gozo. Their monthly Newsletter via email has approximately 500 people listed!
Additionally, the organization has collaborated with different social media outlets such as being interviewed on Bejnietna, a Maltese TV program which aired on the 15th of September. Antonella and Wilbert discussed LGBT life in Gozo in general as well as their work as an organization and the challenges we have faced. A Hungarian Magazine also wrote an article about the life of one of our members by promoting the lesbian community in Gozo, what specific challenges are faced and how LGBTI+ Gozo is mitigating such challenges. https://qlit.hu/en/lesbian-interview-malta/?fbclid=IwAR0jXljOzr9wVXkjsxvK1qI9TVH26utiDp-SZaCaasQl3SiJSN4nyuWkDJ8
LGTBI+ Gozo has also held various meetings with different politicians and stakeholders throughout the year to further discuss their agenda and what they could do to turn the organization’s plans into reality. Most recently, they had a meeting with Minister of Gozo and Junior Minister of Equality and Reform to discuss office space, GU clinic, pride lights on ministry building facade, future pride landmarks as well as funding. They also had the opportunity to have meetings with other stakeholders – MEP Josianne Cutajar, US Embassy, TGEU – all discussing important goals, values and challenges for the organization.
This September, they also launched a Queer Friendly Professionals Database. The organization gathered a list of professionals – Psychologists, Lawyers, Doctors, Accountants etc – who are accepting and ready to help members of the LGBT community (some even focus specifically on the community), so that whenever LGTBI+ Gozo’s members ask them for anyone they might know who could help them in certain things, for example, changing their gender on their ID card or discussing family situations or personal growth, they will feel safe. https://www.lgbtigozo.com/queerfriendlyprofessionals
LGTBI+ Gozo also tries to raise awareness on a variety of different things such as HIV, sexual health education, with future collaborations with MMSA in events such as their Sexual health campaign, as well as DRACHMA, HIV Malta and MGRM in past online events.
Finally, LGTBI+ Gozo has also been working on important documents such as: Code of Conduct, GDPR Policy Document as well as Membership Guidelines. They intend to share these documents with their members through the members’ updates so that they could have complete transparency while their members could give them their opinions on the organization.
LGTBI+ Gozo is most definitely a determined organization who are creating change within Gozo! If you want to become a member, sign up here http://bit.ly/LGBTIGozoMember