Updated: Jun 5, 2019
Allied Rainbow Communities has taken note of the reactions by various LGBTQ+ individuals with respect to the #AllWelcome sticker campaign initiated by the Government today. Clearly, there is a divided sentiment on this Campaign which we believe is a complex deep-seated issue that our country is going through vis-a-vis the progress being made on the Equality agenda.
There is much to reflect and learn from the reactions we are seeing. As an NGO, we are neither endorsing nor opposing this initiative however, we do have serious concerns. We are sure the Equality Ministry will be quick to state that ARC is on the LGBTQ+ consultative council and should have raised the flag at discussion stage but for lack of resource capacity, ARC has long been inactive in the said council.
Rainbow stickers are common practice in various businesses around the world and have been a normal and long held practice to show support and in welcoming LGBTQ+ people. This is a win-win situation for both business and clientele alike. We see value in such an initiative when taken up by the business without feeling pressured by the State to do so. As ARC is often asked about LGBTQ-friendly/owned business by travellers and locals alike, we have been speaking to various businesses who either participate currently, or have asked to participate, in our ‘Pink Pages directory on the gaymalta.com website.
Establishments which support LGBTQ-friendliness are of value especially for people coming from trans/homophobic countries and cultures as they offer safe and much sought after spaces. This was purely a grassroots approach which was developing organically and in a non-imposing way.
The reactions we’ve seen today are unfortunate, but in no way should be invalidated, especially when they come directly from the LGBTQ+ community.
ARC will continue to do its work for the benefit of the LGBTQ+ community whilst also preparing for Malta Pride in September which depends solely on donations and support by corporate and institutional partners. Those who wish to support ARC can do so by donating here: http://www.zaar.com.mt/projects/maltapride19/