Malta holiday for British X Factor singer soured by homophobia and sexual harassment

A British singer has written about the homophobia and sexual harassment she and her girlfriend experienced in Malta with the Malta Gay Rights Movement denouncing the behaviour as 'appalling and embarrassing'

Photo taken from Lucy Spraggan's Facebook page
Photo taken from Lucy Spraggan's Facebook page

Updated at 10:14am with comment from Equality Minister Owen Bonnici

Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM) has said it is deeply concerned over a British singer's Facebook post citing that she was sexually harassed and discriminated against while in Malta on holiday.

"Remember the #AllWelcome campaign that was going to train hospitality staff that everyone said was unnecessary?" the NGO remarked in a Facebook post on Thursday evening in which it shared the story of Lucy Spraggan, a British tourist.

Spraggan, who featured on the X Factor UK in 2012, said her holiday in Malta only lasted two and a half days. The singer said that she had been looking forward to visiting the island because it had been portrayed as LGBT friendly and progressive. However, she said reality was far different.

"First day we arrived, we realised we'd landed in the wrong part of town - every other bar was a 'gentlemen's club', and it was a party destination, and everywhere we went, someone shouted 'lesbians' at us," she said.

Spraggan was on holiday in Malta with her girlfriend but noted that they weren't even "holding hands" while walking the streets.

Spraggan also detailed her experience at a Valletta restaurant where a waiter told her: "The way you girls are sitting is so sexy; you are making us all hard."

"It makes me so angry that all we could do was fucking laugh in disbelief and calmly asked for the bill, he said 'don't leave, stay here and to diffuse the situation, I said 'we have more to discover here,' to which he said: How about I discover her with you'," the singer said.

Spraggan also criticised the fact that the balcony in one of the hotels she stayed at didn't lock, and when she complained to the hotel staff, they failed to see the issue.

"He said, 'I don't get your point, madam' and continued for 30 mins to argue about having a fucking lock on a balcony door," she said.

The singer went on to say that while they were ordering ice cream at a different establishment, men sat down and started doing inappropriate hand jesters to them whilst "shouting in their direction."

"I am sick to fucking death of feeling threatened as a woman. Sick to fucking death of feeling threatened as a lesbian. I am sick to fucking death of being spoken down to by men across the globe. Malta was beautiful, but the experience was not," Spraggan said.

'Isolated acts do not represent the majority of Maltese and Gozitans' - Owen Bonnici

Taking to social media Equality Minister Owen Bonnici said he was sorry to hear about Spraggan's experience; however, he added that the incidents did not represent how the majority of Maltese and Gozitans feel about the LGBTIQ community. 

"We are proud to be so passionately in favour of Equality and LGBTIQ rights in Malta, and I would absolutely love you and your partner to join us here in Malta when we're hosting Europride in 2023," Bonnici said. 

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