A trans person has called for a movement against hate speech after a top official from the self-proclaimed Għaqda Patrijotti Maltin "outed" his gender after he protested against an anti-migrant manifestation last Sunday.
Stephen Florian, a university lecturer, put up a Facebook post saying it was time to out Alex Caruana as a transgender after he "photo-mobbed" the anti-migrant group at a manifestation last Sunday.
"Time to get to know who Alex Caruana is and was. How can the girl who now calls herself Alexander... integrate with the Muslim community," Mr Florian wrote on his Facebook page, showing a 'before' and 'after' picture.
In response, Alex Caruana said the "patriots" were picking on him simply because he was trans, and this showed they resorted to personal insults because they had no valid arguments to make.
"I've always said that these people simply show hate towards anybody who disagrees with them. That's why everyone, from all sectors of society, should unite to seek the route of respect and peace in our country," Caruana wrote.
Alternattiva Demokratika chairman Arnold Cassola described the "shameless hatred" against Caruana as despicable.
"This is unacceptable, when addressing people who have had little chances in life; and very worrying for the future of the country when it is coming from someone who has had a sound cultural and educational formation," he said.
The online interaction was sparked after Għaqda Patrijotti Maltin protesters were met by three young people quietly holding signs declaring prayer a human right, and condemning the hatred being sown by the self-proclaimed patriots.
“It’s just provocation,” Caruana, who was one of the counter-protesters, said.
“When is the last time there’s been a fight between Christians and Muslims in Malta?”
The protest was called following a proposal by the Malta Muslim Council to convert a basement-level shop in St Paul's Bay into a prayer room.
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