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You’d think an island made up of a population that is about 95% Catholic would not be high on a list of holiday destinations for the gay traveller! You’d be wrong! The Maltese are an accepting and tolerant bunch, so the ‘pink Euro’ is welcomed here just as it is as anywhere else in Europe.
This island has collectively accepted, quite refreshingly, that homosexuality most definitely exists, even though it might be frowned upon by the faith they follow. And so, the people are willing to welcome gay tourists along with any other kind because being friendly is what they do here.
So, the view of homosexuality is refreshingly no longer the taboo that it used to be as recently as a couple of decades ago, and any remaining prejudice is diminishing year on year. The Maltese might not have gone as far as to be oblivious to public displays of affection from same-sex couples but on the whole we’d say the island is pretty ‘gay-friendly’.
What that means is gay couples can go pretty much where they like without fear of being ostracised, or hassled, but also that venues and hotels have recently emerged on the scene to cater more specifically for the gay market.
Nightlife, for example, on Malta centres around the area of Paceville and among the many pubs and clubs here you’ll find the odd gay bar that provides a pleasant atmosphere and feature live singers, DJs, and drag artists for a night of multi-coloured pleasure. Klozet, in Ball Street, and Chandelier, in Dragonara Road, are a couple of prime examples to look out for.
Other popular venues in other areas are Saints Bar, in Hamrun, an established haunt of the transvestite crowd, while Tom Bar, which is on the edge of Valletta caters for an almost exclusively gay crowd.
In St Julian’s you need to seek out O Bar & Spa - an innovative venue with the clue in the door policy. It only admits only men!
As well as all these regulars, there are also some one-off or annual clubbing events and festivals that target the gay market. The best-known of these is DiversCity Week – an annual events that includes the Pride march, film festivals, art exhibitions, and forum theatre.
The Malta Gay Rights Movement hosts Pink Sundays every month for the LGBT community. They also put on car treasure hunts, barbecues, horse riding and even diving activities as part of their yearly planner.
You can also arrange to stay in gay-friendly accommodation now on Malta. Adams Hotel and Bar in St Julian’s has a gay proprietor and admits only men, while in Valletta, the Adonis Hotel is also gay-only. Other places to stay in the capital are the Maison LaVallette, and the Valletta G-House – both are very gay-friendly.
For more information it’s worth checking out the Gay Malta website, which is dedicated to providing advice and guidance for gay tourists visiting the island.
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