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[WATCH] ‘Parents said my gay father would go to hell’, children speak out

Children of LGBT parents recount episodes of intolerance in Pride Week video on rainbow familiesChildren of LGBT parents recount episodes of intolerance in Pride Week video on rainbow families

Denise Grech
30 August 2017, 1:07pm
Children's development is not affected by their parents' gender, insisted the President's Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society
Children's development is not affected by their parents' gender, insisted the President's Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society
Children of LGBT families highlight struggles growing up
The President's Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society launched video "our children are alright" today, with the aim of addressing intolerance against LGBT families.

In the video, children of gay and lesbian parents highlighted the difficulties they faced growing up: "I had to deal with comments when I was younger, now it's a bit better. I got bad looks, bad comments, from other parents during parents day," said one of the children.

"Some parents would come up to me and tell me my dad is going to hell, said another. "That isn’t really what a six year old should be hearing."

The video is part of the Foundation's contribution to upcoming pride week, which will take off Saturday 9th September. "What we wanted to show was a very real portrayal of [LGBT families’] lives," said Cher Laurenti Engerer, producer and project manager of the video.

The video sheds light on five different, same gender families share their experiences raising their children in a hetero-normative society, which often expects families to include a mother and a father

There is no evidence that parents’ gender impacts children's psychological adjustment, continued Engerer. These families' problems are psychosocial, as they struggle to prove that their families are as functional as their heterosexual counterparts.

Parents, in fact, struggled with finding schools that were LGBT friendly. "It was definitely something we have to think about, said one parent. "We had to consider if they would accept families like us."

At the launch, President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca appealed to families to be more progressive and be increasingly aware of LGBT+ families within the community. "Prejudice within our society cam be overcome by sharing the narratives of others", she said. "Rainbow families have existed long before the legal changes and society should recognise that."

Parliament voted to legalise same sex marriage last July, three years after passing a law permitting civil unions across the country.

The same sex marriage bill passed almost unanimously, making Malta the EU's 15th member to pass the law.