'Like a father, Joseph Muscat gave me a reason to live'

Shania Micallef says that Joseph Muscat made her choice on 3 June an easy one since, thanks to him, she will be voting in favour of the life that he had made possible

Transgender Shania Micallef said tonight that she considered Joseph Muscat to be like a father to her, for giving her life anew and giving her a reason to live.

Micallef, who was giving a brief account of her experience at the Labour Party’s general conference called to launch the electoral manifesto and approve its candidates, said that she found the courage to face her hardship only thanks to Muscat.

“Some time ago, a woman approached me to thank me for helping her 12-year-old find the courage to face his sexuality and stand up to pressure,” she said. “What I told her was that I owed my courage to Joseph Muscat.”

Micallef said she had gone through a lot of hardships until she was recognised as a woman, including having to miss a flight because her passport listed her as “M” not “F”.

“Like me, I know my mother suffered too because of other people’s snide comments, who often said they felt sorry for her because of me,” she said. “Seeing my mother suffer made me suffer as well and often made me too embarrassed to go out with her.”

Micallef said she looks at Muscat as father who gave helped give new life to her.

“Thanks to the courage I found, I am where I am today, a successful hair stylist with a bright future.”

“On 3 June, I will not be making a choice on which party to choose, but I will be choosing on my life, and my choice is easy,” she said.

Micallef ended her brief address by turning directly to Muscat.

“Thank you, my father, for giving me a life and giving me a reason to live,” she said. “Now I truly know that the best days of my life are yet to come.”

‘IVF Treatment a dream come true’

Amanda Briffa recounted how she and her husband had discovered they were infertile and could not have children without undergoing IVF treatment.

“Some say that the best things in life are free, but for us that was definitely not the case,” she said. “It was thanks to the policies introduced by this government, including providing free treatments at Mater Dei, that my husband and I could experience parenthood.”

Briffa thanked Muscat because, thanks to those policies, she and her husband were now the proud parents of an 11-month-old baby.

She said that many couple like her and her husband had suffered for many years in silence, but acknowledged that although a lot had been done, there was still a ways to go, including introducing and legalising embryo freezing, that would make the process much more seamless for infertile couples.

“In all, the government has spent more than €7,500, plus childcare, on helping my husband and I fulfil our dream,” she said.