“Malta has become the gold standard of LGBTQI reforms – a beacon of human rights for LGBTIQ issues!”
So said the United Nation’s Equality and Non-Discrimination team. This tiny unassuming island nation in the middle of the Mediterranean has over the past decade quickly evolved to become one of the most gay friendly countries in the world with some of the most progressive LGBTQ laws.
But Malta wasn’t always like this. Up until 2013, divorce was illegal here, society extremely socially conservative and homosexuality was pretty much underground. Since the centre-left Labour Party came into power in 2013, the country did a big U-turn, passing an array of progressive laws led by the proactive Minister for Equality, Helena Dalli. You can read more about this in our comprehensive gay guide to Malta.
How did such a quick and rapid change affect Malta’s LGBTQ community?
We found that the older members of the Maltese LGTBQ community had a far different perspective compared to the newer generation who are now benefitting from these more open and progressive laws, which the older generation fought hard to achieve.
Malta Gay Life
A lot of the older gay guys we met, who came of age in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, had difficulties being out and were often forced to lead double lives, marrying a woman to satisfy their family. In comparison, the younger gay guys in their teens, 20s and 30s, we found them to be more confident about their sexuality when we spoke to them about Malta Gay Life. Now it was easier than ever to fight for change in terms of lobbying their MPs, organising LGBTQ events, leading the Pride movement, and more.
One of these awesome Maltese Millennials at the forefront of change in Malta is cutie Clayton Mercieca. Clayton recently married his life partner Christian and together had a baby boy and is rocking the #gaydad world! Clayton is also a prominent LGBTQ activist in Malta, responsible for organising Malta Pride.
We met up with Clayton and his hunky hubby Christian in Valletta, who told us more about the gay life in Malta and what it’s like being gay parents.