In 2015, Malta ranked first in European ‘rainbow map’ of LGBTIQ rights, following their milestone laws which were approved into their constitution in April. The laws put legal boundaries on discrimination, whilst giving transgender individuals the go ahead to legally change their gender without surgery or psychological assessments. This was a big deal for the country, as it is predominantly conservative and catholic.
This project follows the life of Willa, a 7-year-old Maltese transgender girl to, not only be the first transgender kid to be public and open in a somewhat conservative society, but also to be facing the legal hurdles which are brought about due to their novelty and questionability in the case of minors. Through her experience, Willa is determined to make the road easier for individuals like her, both in Malta and worldwide.
Whilst the story focuses mostly on Willa’s continuous journey within a country where transgender issues are relatively new, highlighting significant factors such as family support, activism, the legal angle, her self-identity and her day-to-day life, the project also attempts to pose questions whilst following the process of the new experimental laws, whose results may ultimately pave the way for other countries across the globe.
“Say to your child ‘we love you’, whatever the packaging, they are still your child, no matter the gender, and the child needs to see that. Showing love and support is the most important thing.” -Bex, Willa’s Mother.
"If your parents can’t love you, you feel ‘who will?’. They need to be the first ones to show you love. Without that, there would be a hole formed in that person, that would never be filled, and it would end up leaving them empty. Society is hard enough on them. You don’t need to have a transgender child to know that. Family support will keep transgender children alive.”- Bex, Willa’s mother.