Talking straight about physical and mental health issues faced by the LGBT community
Body issues are a problem for any modern-day man but it seems to be more prominent in the gay community. In fact, in 2014, the International Journal of Eating Disorders found that gay or bisexual men were three times more likely than straight men to have body image issues.
"Body image is a huge issue and I would say it is on the same level as the way women feel. I do not want to discredit in any way how women feel but there are a lot of similarities with regards to self-confidence and body issues," explains Clayton Mercieca from Allied Rainbow Communities (ARC).
Transgender people have it the most difficult Clayton believes, as they not only have to figure out their gender identity but also face society. With transgender men, it may be a bit easier as society is used to butch women but male to female transitioning is quite an issue. "We are seeing children as young as five feeling they are not the gender they were born with."
Clayton mentions an important fact about the pride campaign is to avoid idolising one male body type. It is a norm in Malta that posters for gay parties show men with muscular bodies but in reality, most gay men do not look like that. The image of most gay men is highly sexualised but this is not representative of the whole community.
"People hate themselves and feel left out." It becomes even harder when dating since the pool is already small and the ideal muscular man is not a reality.