Feb 25, 2013

We Are in February

We Are in February
by Lulu

February has been a good month for We Are as it has seen us finally take off for the new semester. 

It started off with a bang when on the 5th February 7 We Are volunteers attended the Human Library organized by the Sociology Department at Giovanni Curmi Higher Secondary School in Naxxar.  Many students wanted to ‘borrow’ us as books and ask us questions and share their opinions and ideas!  The feedback was truly impressive.

Then Paul attended Insite Leaders’ Debate on February 13th and kept us updated via Twitter.  He also had the chance to field a question.  The question and the reaction to it can be found here.

Finally just last Friday 22nd we had a small event called Queering Heterosexuality on campus to kick off a series of activities we are organizing together with Ruth Baldacchino.  These activities follow the lecture themes of the module on Queer Studies being offered by the department of sociology.  We’ll post the list of activities planned soon but venues and times might not yet be confirmed! 

For Queering Heterosexuality Mina prepared a number of closets (postcards), and then set up a mini-stand on campus with Jake.  They approached people and engaged in conversations about challenging and thinking about identity and the concept of the closet.

This small scale activity is actually an example of what anyone can help us with throughout the next few months.  We are also looking for bloggers or vloggers or anyone with passion to contribute to our work!  (Drop us a line!)

To end February we have planned a gathering (cookies included) for anyone who would like to get to know us or simply hang out. If you’re around campus on Wednesday 27th between 12 and 2pm feel free to join us.  We’ll be meeting in Quad (weather permitting) and moving off elsewhere.
See you soon! 

Insite leader's debate on campus

Insite leader's debate on campus
by Paul

During the leaders’ debate on Campus, which was held on Wednesday 13th February 2013, “We Are” was courteously invited by Insite to field a question to one or all of the party leaders.  I was given the honour to represent “We Are” at the event and put our question to the three would be Prime Ministers.  Our question was formulated by the Executive Board and went as follows:

The Irish government had recently introduced a policy which targets the issue of bullying, particularly the issue of homophobic or transphobic bullying.  The aim of this policy is to tackle such problems at their roots through education.  Our question is whether there is any intention by either of you to, once in government, introduce such a policy in order to educate youth on such issues?”

Michael Brigulgio was the first person to answer the question, and the only one to answer in the affirmative, though he didn’t specify how or when.  Whilst direct quotations are not completely available at this moment since I have no transcript, he basically promised that such policies were part of AD’s manifesto and where vital to improving society’s understanding of such issues.

Joseph Muscat answered second and although he didn’t quite specify whether or not he intended to introduce such policies or when he would.  But he stressed that he believed fully in LGBT rights and that it was government’s job to ensure these rights and he would be doing so immediately should he be elected to power.

Lawrence Gonzi agreed that he felt education with regards to LGBTQQI issues was an essential part of creating a cohesive society, which was more accepting and understanding of such issues.  And while agreeing that a PN government would be sure to include education aimed at LGBTQQI issues, his answer remained vague with no clear plan or outline given.

It should also be noted that besides our questions Insite too fielded their own questions with regards to LGBTQQI issues, and whilst I did not manage to take down the participants’ answers in full, I was glad to note that all discussions with regards to LGBTQQI rights were very positive, which is very encouraging.  Though admittedly some parties are promising more than others what was good to note was that all are pushing for improvement of the status quo, so one can take solace in the fact that whoever the future leader will be things should move forward.