Clayton Mercieca: ‘Don’t do good to be seen but be seen to do good’

Allied Rainbow Communities president and Malta Pride coordinator Clayton Mercieca tells all in our Q&A

The president of Allied Rainbow Communities combines his background in social work and creative thinking training as an activist for citizen participation, equality and social justice to create communities that foster a true sense of belonging and empowerment in Malta. Mercieca is a regular contributor on LGBTQ+ issues and is the coordinator of Malta Pride which will run from 10 to 19 September.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

I know it’s wrong but I check all my social media accounts and that of ARC through my phone.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

From my grade 1 teacher – don’t do good to be seen but be seen to do good!

What do you never leave the house without?

First instinct would be my phone, but I did it a couple of times and it feels good! I would probably never leave without a wallet.

Pick three words that describe yourself

Passionate, pragmatic, resourceful.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

I guess managing to bring EuroPride to Malta in 2023 is quite a feat that many would have not dared trying (for many reasons).

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Intently reading an argument between two complete strangers over a Facebook post.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

I have lots more to learn but “keep it simple” is one of my favourite lessons.

Property and cars aside what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

Two months into the relationship, with my now husband and life partner of 13 years, I bought a diamond pendant for his lucky birthday. It took me three wages at the time to pay it off!

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

It took me most of my teenage years to accept my sexuality. Back then, visibility was not as much as it is today. So having so much resources and visibility and representation today could really help younger people to be more self-assured.

Who’s your inspiration?

I find inspiration in many people for different reasons. Some parents for how they overcome challenges due to disabilities in the family, honest business people who make it happen, people who go against society to just be themselves. There are usually the people who inspire me.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Each year organising Pride keeps getting more challenging because it grows in terms of participation, involvement, engagement. So to try and make everyone feel included is a real challenge.

Do you believe in God?

Not in a man living above the clouds. Heaven and hell is what we make of it.

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

Papa Francesco – we both share the same birthday – but I really need to clarify some things with him.

What’s your worst habit?

Pulling my hair whilst I am concentrating.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

I let loose and without inhibitions. I’d probably kiss everyone.

Who would you have play you in a film?

Jack Fallahee? They say we share a resemblance.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Shaming and putting others down

What music would you have played at your funeral?

Probably some LGBTIQ anthems.

What is your most treasured material possession?

My laptop at the moment. All my work and thoughts are in there.

What is your earliest memory?

Up until I was two years and a half, we used to live in a flat and I have very vivid memories of me in the kitchen and in the bath – however I don’t remember the bedroom.

When did you last cry, and why?

I cried over a movie about a dog who got abandoned.

Who would you most like to meet?

Yuval Noah Harari.

What’s your favourite food?

Pizza remains my top choice.

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

Matt Bernstein is a guru in how to pass on an LGBTIQ lesson in a creative way.

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

The moment when somehow the world decided that men should lead, and women follow that resulted in centuries of minority oppression, wars, and ultimately the mess we are in as a world today.

What book are you reading right now?

Moyra Sammut’s ‘A Map of Scars’.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?


What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

Make sure my husband and son know I love them with all my heart.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

I usually default to Café Jazz kind of music but right now I am enjoying a quiet space.

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

I like to do that in silence most of the time.