Kitba Queer

Kitba Queer

One thing I’m really passionate about is anything related to the LGBTQQI+ spectrum. Link that passion with equality, and sprinkle something artsy, and you’ll have me there – eyes sparkling.

A few moons ago, I was speaking with a dear friend, and they brought up the fact that they were limited in the Queer representation in local literature. They made a list online, and asked me to contribute to it (which in reality – I couldn’t). This got us scratching our heads – how could we, in this country which so frequently comes 1st in terms of LGBT+ rights, not have that many decent, and positive, queer characters in our stories?

“If only we could change this”, I remember musing to them.

“Well… there is funding…”, they pointed out.

And that is how Kitba Queer was born!



kitba queer logo
Look at this logo we made!


Kitba Queer was accepted for funding by the Malta Arts Council – Creative Communities, to run in 2018. What we will be doing is organising workshops, mingle sessions, and social events, with the aim of publishing an Anthology by the end of the year. In this Anthology, “Queer” will be celebrated. There will be positive representation, poetry, comics, short stories, illustrations!

I cannot express how excited I am about this, and to think that it all started from an abstract conversation about how we wanted to have more things to read!

The Privilege of Growing Old (or Up)

The Privilege of Growing Old (or Up)

One thing I’ve started observing is how little interest we start to have in things which seemed almost life-changing as young adults or teenagers. I call this, the privilege of growing old (or “up”, for those a bit wary of growing old).


Why is it a privilege? Cause not everyone gets to this point, either because of death, or because of immaturity. I’m referring to those people who in their 40s and 50s still act as though they are teenagers, who have little to no responsibilities – even though the lifestyle makes them miserable.


You see, when you’re young, you’re almost obsessed with what your friends are doing. Are your friends drinking this weekend? Awesome, let’s go drinking! Are they smoking a joint? Well, then, that’s cool too! We want to fit in, it’s human nature’s pull for conformity and inclusion into groups. It’s what has kept us alive for millennia… but is it now killing us?


In reality, most people do get out of this stage in their life. As they grow up, age, have a family, have a career, travel, and so on, they realise that they need to invest more in the relationships of people who care about them, and in their relationship with themselves.


And if you don’t grow up?


Well then you realise you’re the only one at dinner who’s consistently ordering a pint after pint, while your friends and loved ones sip water (or a soft drink). You’re the only one who turns up home at 5am after a night out with the “boys” or “girls”, even though they have no spouses, and your spouse is up worrying about you cause you turned your phone off.



Share, the antidote to Shame

Share, the antidote to Shame

What I love about my job is the amount of training I can go on. Training lets me learn new things, develop new tools, listen to experiences, and of course, network with other professionals.

Since I have the attention span of a carrot, it’s rare to find a speaker who can grasp my attention for a full ten minutes – and I’m so glad this guy did.

“What letter do I need to change in the word ‘Shame’, which would make shame go away?”

Our speaker asked…

People started scratching their heads, throwing out answers (which did not involve actually changing a letter, but I guess it was quite late on a Tuesday afternoon … and after so many workshops, we were all too tired).

“Change the ‘m'”, I mumbled to myself, “change ‘m’ to ‘r’ and you get ‘share'”. Again, it was too late on a Tuesday afternoon for me to feel like engaging.

Finally, ,someone said it, they replied that the way to deal with shame is to speak about it. Our speaker was elated, replying that yes, sharing is how we can help clients deal with their issues of shame.

But isnt’t that counterproductive? If I have shame to speak about something, how can I possibly share it?


Well, that’s the trick in reality. We give power to certain things… and they really don’t deserve to have this power. Let me explain.

If I shame regarding an aspect of myself – such as my gender or sexual orientation (ie. something I have no control over, and cannot change). If I don’t talk about it, my shame gets worse. I will feel that if people knew, they would judge me (after all, isn’t this the reason for shame? feeling judged and unwanted for something?).

And what happens when we hide such fundamental parts of our personality, for fear of judgement? We end up hiding other things – things we like or enjoy, because we feel that our loved ones will ‘figure it out’.

But what happens when I do talk about it? When I feel so safe with someone, so close and intimate with them, that I can tell them about my genuine self?

Well, when the person acts so loving about what I have shared, so non-judgementally, then that is when my shame will go away. I will realise that I was being ignorant for assuming that my loved ones would hate me, and that it was something to be ashamed about.


So what is the antidote to shame? SHARE!

Meeting Our President

Meeting Our President

A few months ago, I had the great honour of meeting Her Excellency, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca for a chat about Insite Malta’s work. I have been part of Insite for over three years – as CEO, Social Policy Associate, Writer, Editor, you name it. I guess I could never say goodbye to the first organisation I ever joined, which taught me so much and gave me so many skills to succeed both at University and in my career.


The visit was a courtesy one, to thank us for the work done covering a conference on Children’s Wellbeing last month. Naturally, I felt appreciated by the Executive Editor who invited me to join for this courtesy visit.


The visit was very successful, and I am pleased that she took such a genuine interest in the organisation, instantly offering us opportunities to collaborate, while also noting that one of us present was still a student, and so she should be careful not to neglect her studies.


I am pleased that we have a President who is so genuine, and caring, for the people around her. Her working hours are incredible (read: insane), and I can imagine her schedule is choc-a-block, but it’s amazing how courteous and patient she can be. She didn’t rush the visit, rather, it seemed she never wanted it to end. So kudos that there’s someone who views the youth as capable, hard working people!

Women in History #2 – Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Women in History #2 – Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

And we return with another Women in History section, where the focus is on the achievements of some of the great women who graced our planet. Today we’ll be speakingelisabeth_kc3bcbler-ross_1926_-_2004 about Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.


Elizabeth was born in Switzerland on July 8th 1926, interestingly she is one baby out of set of triplets. After the Second World War, Elizabeth started volunteering with the International Voluntary Service for Peace, and through this voluntary service started helping victims who had been in the concentration camps in Germany and Poland.


Upon her return to Switzerland, she started studying medicine, getting her degree in 1957. She had always had an interest in medicine, however, her father did his utmost to dissuade her from achieving this dream – instead he told her that she could become a secretary or a maid instead. Thankfully, Elizabeth did not listen to her father, however, she did have to leave home at the age of 16 and work a series of jobs. Nevertheless, she achieved her dream of studying medicine.


A few years later, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross at Arizona House, 2001, Editorial use only, No Tabsshe travelled to the US to practice medicine and continue specialising. She wanted to study paediatrics, however, she went into psychiatry instead. She graduated as a psychiatrist in 1963 from the University of Colorado. She had a particular interest in death and dying, and she continued to study this topic, even doing weekly seminars on death for terminally ill patients.


In 1967, she published her book On Death and Dying, where she outlined the 5 stages people who are dying go through. She always had an interest in the subject, and was shocked by the treatment of terminally ill patients by medical practitioners. It is reported that while she was teaching at the University of Colorado, she replaced one of her colleagues and instead of doing the curriculum, she brought in a 16 year old girl who was suffering from Leukemia. She asked the students present to ask this girl any question they want. After a few questions revolving purely around her condition, the girl erupted in anger and pointed out that she was a person as well – a person who could not have dreams or aspirations, who may not get to go to Prom. This shows clearly that Elizabeth has a deep respect for those suffering from terminally ill conditions, and did her utmost for these “patients” to be seen as “people” instead.


Unfortunately, in 1995, after a series of strokes which left her partially paralysed, Elizabeth retired to Arizona. She died on August 24th, 2004.

Women in History #1 – Susan B. Anthony

Women in History #1  – Susan B. Anthony

So it’s only fair that we start to celebrate the achievements of various women throughout history (and modern times). Unfortunately these women tend to be forgotten, or ignored, in history books. So let’s change that…



Born in 1820, as a young child Anthony and her family moved to New York. She was known already be a strong girl with acute leadership skills.


Between the ages of 15 and 30, Anthony attended boarding school and was teaching the other students. 

In 1849, she became the president of the Rochester Branch of the Daughters of Temperance, a group dedicated to the prohibition of alcohol. This was the first of many societies and associations that she was part of in her lifetime, including:

  1. Women’s State Temperance Society (formed herself)
  2. American Anti-Slavery Society from 1856 until 1861,
  3. Women’s Loyal League in 1863 for slave emancipation (which she formed herself)
  4. National Woman’s Suffrage Association with her colleage, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, in 1869 (which she founded herself).
  5. Anthony and Stanton then published a newspaper called “The Revolution,” sending out the word for women’s rights.
  6. In 1870, she founded and became president of the Workingwomen’s Central Association.
  7. She also founded the International Council of Women, made up of 48 countries, in 1888,
  8. the National Woman’s Suffrage Association in 1890 (of which she was president until 1900),
  9. International Woman Suffrage Council in 1904.


In 1878, she wrote the Susan B. Anthony amendment, which declared that women should have the right to vote. After her death, specifically, on August 18th 1920, this amendment became the 19th Amendment in the Constitution.


Also notably, Susan B. Anthony made the Rochester University begin to accept female students.

She died on March 13th 1906, and it is said that her final words were “failure is impossible” – which was adopted as a feminist chant.

She is remembered as leading the only non-violent protest in the USA.




Goodbye (Very) Old Friend

Goodbye (Very) Old Friend

Today is both a sad day and one of celebration and empowerment – for two different reasons.

A sad day because one of our historic gems has fallen, and while it could not be prevented due to natural detioration, I’m sure it wasn’t helped when people kept on climbing on top of it…or detonating bombs beneath.


For those who are not based on the Maltese Islands, the Azure Window is one of the best things on the Island of Gozo. It was used as a backdrop of various movies, including Clash of Titans:



And Game of Thrones:



But last night, due to the high winds and force of the sea, the Azure Window fell…


But on a brighter note – today is also Women’s Day and thus also a day of celebration.


Women of all shapes and forms, from all backgrounds, should be celebrated for their achievements – which unfortunately are commonly disregarded.

So happy women’s day, and not just for our cis-ters!

And here is a photo of the azure window, which I had the pleasure to visit with one of the best women I know