LGBTQ+ Rights Thrive Amongst Citizens of Malta
Malta is not talked about often, but it is the progressive queer mecca we all want and need.
In keeping with my want to share more international LGBTQ+ stories, I stumbled upon the country of Malta. Shame eludes me in admitting that I had to google the location of this country I had heard so little about in my life. This is astonishing as this island in the Mediterranean sea is kicking some serious ass in progressing the rights of LGBTQ+ persons.
Malta offers LGBTQ+ individuals more equality to rights than many countries overseas. Rights, it should be noted, that similarly to America are given at birth to their cisgender, heterosexual counterparts. Not only are their citizens accepting and fighting for these rights, but their Prime Minister and government are also leading the way in advancing LGBTQ+ equality.
Transgender rights in the spotlight during Malta Pride March
This September saw the first Pride March in Malta since before the pandemic hit the country. During this event, the Prime Minister of Malta, Robert Abela, made some strong statements regarding his Labour Party and their ideas on LGBTQ+ rights.
Abela stated that gender-affirming surgery would soon be available as part of Malta’s publicly funded national health plan. It is unsure which surgeries, exactly, will be covered.
THIS IS HUGE.
Gender-affirming surgery being covered under a universal health plan?! Malta is truly pushing the bar so high it is hopeful others will follow. Others such as this great country we live in, America, where 238 anti-trans bills have been proposed as of March of this year. That number is higher just 6 months later. A far cry from offering publicly funded services to individuals who need them most, such as those seeking gender-affirming care.
The Malta Prime Minister and Labour party also lifted the country’s ban on men who have sex with men donating blood. This ban was technically lifted 3 years ago but saw a delay in rollout due to testing equipment. The move removed LGBTQ+ discrimination from blood donation. In the United States, gay and bisexual men can donate blood only…