Mina Jack Tolu: “Why the EU elections matter for our queer community”

As an LGBTIQ person living in Malta, it’s easy to think that Europe doesn’t have much to offer. After all, our country has been considered to be the most advanced in Europe and globally when it comes to laws and policies that protect our rights for several years. So, as a queer person, you might think “I don’t really have much to gain from the EU at this point”. 

Having more legal rights and protections as LGBTIQ people in Malta doesn’t mean we are as protected across the EU. As EU citizens, we are fortunate to have the right of free movement across 27 countries. But this right can feel hollow when our families and identities are not respected equally in every member state. 

For instance, rainbow families might not have their parenthood rights recognized if they travel or move to another country. The same goes for our relationships, which may not be legally acknowledged outside of Malta.

Trans individuals studying abroad might face significant barriers to accessing the healthcare services they need in several EU countries. This inconsistency creates unnecessary hardships and undermines the principle of equality that the EU stands for.

Moreover, the political climate in a growing number of EU countries is making our queer communities more vulnerable. Many political parties are using anti-LGBTI rhetoric to sow division and gain support, threatening the progress we have fought so hard to achieve. This regressive trend is alarming and underscores the need for a strong, united front to protect our rights

As LGBTIQ persons, I also feel strongly that we must care about the EU as an act of solidarity. What many of us might forget is the crucial role the European Union has played in getting Malta to where it is today. The EU has been instrumental in pushing forward the agenda for LGBTIQ rights, providing a framework and support that has allowed countries like Malta to flourish in terms of equality and inclusivity 

We must remain vigilant and proactive in promoting LGBTIQ rights here and across the EU. This is why your vote in the EU elections matters. It matters for the legal recognition of our families, for the health and safety of trans people, and for the continued progress of LGBTIQ rights across Europe.

Use your vote to send progressive candidates who will champion LGBTIQ rights in Brussels. Use your votes to send a clear message that we stand for equality, solidarity, and human rights.

Together, we can ensure that the EU remains a force for positive change for the queer community and beyond.

Mina Jack Tolu is an MEP Candidate with ADPD – The Green Party, and a committee member of the European Greens.

Originally published on minatolu.com