Malta Pride Week 2017

After having to reschedule Malta Pride Week due to the snap election back in June, the celebrations took place last week between 4th-9th September. This year’s theme – Love, Life and Diversity celebrated the Marriage Equality bill, diversity within society and also raised awareness regarding LGBTIQ health issues.

malta pride 2017

For a country whose population is of around 400,000 people, Malta really has a lot to be proud of. It ranks as the most LGBTIQ friendly in Europe (ILGA Rainbow Index). In 2016, Malta became the first country to ban gay conversion therapy and only a few months ago, marriage equality also became a reality.

marriage equality celebrationsImage: James Bianchi –  http://www.maltatoday.com.mt

Why Pride Still Matters

So why is Pride still so important nowadays? You may hear some people saying how they “have no problem with gay people, but why is there the need to have parades? We have no straight parades” The issue dwells deeper than Pride being solely about parades, festivals and parties.

malta pride 2017

Look back at a significant moment in history – The Stonewall Riots. The name came about after police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in New York on June 28, 1969. This moment marks the first time people stood up to the authorities and the beginning of the modern Gay Rights Movement. One cannot forget what happened only a year ago. The Orlando Shooting marks another defining moment in history where 49 innocent lives were taken. Additionally, in more than 70 countries, LGBTQ people are subjected to violence just for being who they are and who they love.

We have progressed in the fight for equality, however there is still a lot of work to be done. Pride is a time of celebration and empowerment. At least once a year, people are allowed to stand boldly and be proud of who they are – it is a time where people can stop suppressing their truest selves. Pride isn’t just about the LGBTQ community coming together – it is about the world coming together. The fight for equality is not over yet – tolerance is not universal and together we must keep fighting for what is right.  This is why Pride is important – this is why pride still matters.

 

© 2017 – VIDA Magazine – Christine Cassar