Last Friday Daniel and Gaby, two of our members, acted as books at a Human Library event organised by the Sociology department at Giovanni Curmi Higher Secondary School in Naxxar. Here they relate their experiences but you can find out more about the event at https://www.facebook.com/HumanLibraryGchss.
Daniel: On Friday I had to act like a book and students could approach me to talk to me about LGBT issues and ask questions. To be honest, my expectations were quite low and I didn't really expect anyone to come to us. Boy was I surprised. We had three groups, each group larger than the previous one, and we basically spent 3 hours talking non-stop. It was very heartening to see students (though aside from 4 guys in the last group, all of them were women) so very interested in what we had to share with them. Some of them even got this look in their eyes that really made Gaby and me feel that what we were saying was all important and very crucial. It was a beautiful feeling, especially considering my initial pessimism. At one point we were approached by someone who wanted to share a personal experience, we provided support, listened to their story and told them they could also contact the National Gay Helpline for more support. Ultimately, on Friday I felt like we made a difference, and learnt that there is a serious lack of education with regards to the LGBT community, particularly trans issues, which tend to be overshadowed by lesbian and gay issues.
Gaby: I think that overall the turnout was better than anyone expected. In all we spoke to about 50 people, each one contributing to the discussion and asking questions and all appeared genuinely interested in hearing our stories and learning from our experiences. I feel like we dealt with some misconceptions about gender roles and stereotyping and made a difference in the way people view certain situations. Education was brought up time and time again, some non-LGBT people insisting that it should start from primary school. Trans issues and misconceptions about bisexuality were also discussed in detail and one very nice bi guy shared his feelings about bi people being told to just pick a side. It was very apparent that Trans issues are very rarely touched and this makes me want to get something started to be there for these people who at 16 are struggling with this and have no one to turn to and also a support system for their partners.... definitely a productive day and it seems like this may become a yearly thing as the response was overwhelmingly positive. Better than anyone could have expected, (also there was coffee and sandwiches so Gaba was happy)!