Support and resources for Malta’s LGBTIQ+ community

The first LGBTIQ+ Community Centre to be opened in Malta will offer counselling, support services, and more.

Restoration and renovation will begin on a government building in Valletta to be transformed into a community centre providing psycho-social services for LGBTIQ+ individuals and their families. This centre aims to further advance equality and respect for rights within the LGBTIQ+ community. It complements various initiatives in our country supporting equality, reflecting significant progress made in this sector over the past decade. Malta has consistently ranked first in the European index on equality for nine consecutive years.

This does not imply that prejudices and discrimination against LGBTIQ+ individuals have disappeared. In fact, a recent study by the European Union Agency on Fundamental Rights (FRA), published this year, revealed that Malta had the highest number of reported cases of discrimination based on someone being LGBTIQ+. This could partly be attributed to increased awareness of what is considered acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.

Conversely, Malta is among those where respondents reported a decrease in prejudice and intolerance: Estonia (62%), Malta (57%), and Latvia (55%).

The survey also inquired whether LGBTIQ+ individuals refrain from openly discussing their sexual orientation in certain environments due to fear of assault, threats, or harassment. Only a minority (7%) indicated they do not avoid openness. However, this percentage is higher in Malta (16%), Denmark (13%), and Portugal (12%).

In order to improve such trends, the new centre in the identified building in Old Bakery Street, Valletta, will offer a number of services under one roof:

⦁ Counselling and therapy service to help individuals address emotional and mental challenges.
⦁ Health services, both those provided by the state and others to be provided by NGOs working in this sector – such as a gender well-being clinic.
⦁ A place to address cases of discrimination by providing psychosocial counselling and support services to persons facing some form of discrimination.
⦁ A place to design awareness and education campaigns to bring about a better change in the stereotypical mentalities that persist.
⦁ Place of access to teaching resources and opportunities, among others with a specialised library.
⦁ An area where LGBTIQ + people can meet, interact and support each other with the aim of contributing to a more coherent and inclusive society.
⦁ A place of support for families, with information sessions to parents to understand more and accept the identity of their children.

The project is funded through public investment, fulfilling another electoral promise by the Labour Party to the LGBTIQ+ community.

Currently, the Lands Authority is actively identifying government properties suitable for community use. They are collaborating with other government entities to revitalise these buildings. Additionally, the Lands Authority will partner with various NGOs and local councils to identify more sites that can be optimally utilised for the benefit of society.​

Photo: Mac DeStroir

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