Sunday, 16 January 2011

MaltaStar: Intolerance remains major obstacle for gays
16 January 2011 09:48

Intolerance towards gay is pushing thousands to commit suicide every year all over Europe. In malta last year at least 8 homosexual people committed suicide. Experts claim that these numbers are a direct result of the intolerance shown by Maltese society towards gay people.

In Europe, around 58,000 people commit suicide each year. This number is higher than the number of people who die in traffic accidents or those who die of AIDS.

Bullying in schools, familiar and personal crises are common factors which can lead to suicide, especially in the case where the individual involved is homosexual.

A campaign called It Gets Better has been launched in the USA, which campaign is aimed at encouraging gay young people to refuse to give up on life. Authorities are tkaing it seriously and even President Obama is on board.

In a special message to encourage this campaign, Obama said, “I don't know what is it like to grow up as a gay but I know what is it like to grow up feeling sometimes you don’t belong”.

In Malta, many gay activists believe that the influence of both the Church and the government have contributed to gay people feeling excluded from mainstream society.

Mario Gerada, a gay activist, succinctly described the current situation in the following manner; “The Church looks at the homosexual as a defective heterosexual, and it does this in an official manner.”

Psychologist Antione Spiteri said that suicide rates rise when individuals feel that the law does not respect them for what they are. Speaking on a personal level, he said that he felt that he needed to leave the island because he was not comfortable living here. This particular phenomenon is known as gay drain, where individuals who have a lot to offer their native country are nevertheless forced to leave because of their homosexuality. It is tragic that, in this day and age, we are faced with eight suicides in one year that are all related to the fact that the individual was homosexual.

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