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Everyday Heroes: Issues highlighting LGBTQI Individuals in Malta

Updated: Feb 12, 2019

Stefan Varga, owner of Focus by Mr.V, a full time photographer based in Malta, has taken on the issues faced by LGBTQI individuals by the horns, through his art and calling it 'Everyday Heroes'

By involving various individuals from the rainbow community, not necessarily popular or known, he is taking portraits of individuals whilst highlighting their beauty through photography, with no editing on their physical appearances, and the issues they have had to face growing up through a caption .

The first portrait of a series is is Claudio, who is in his mid-20s and battled through mental health issues.

Achieving life

"Here I stand in 2019, almost 26 years since my birth and for the first time I am living life in true mental freedom and independence. It seems to be that my entire existence till now was simply a process of self-understanding and throughout the past few years, an effort to break away from everything that I had been taught in my childhood. In a way, everything I formed part of seemed to push me away from my true self, be it society, religion and even family.

Maltese culture, social norms and expectations had put me in a position where I felt imprisoned within myself. I was scared to express my feelings, particularly with regards to my sexuality and felt a responsibility to be someone that I were expected to be. Indifference, bullying, homophobia and two threatening depressive phases later, here I am feeling self-assured, positively and humbly Proud of being myself.

In my upcoming portrait I will be portraying my life as it stands now, i.e promising myself to never give up on life, aspiring to be more of myself whilst never forgetting all that life and those around me had to teach me. It would be of great satisfaction if maybe my contribution could inspire others to also be themselves."

- Claudio

We feel inspired by all of this and excited to see more of Stefan Varga's work!