Facebook Sandro Mangion
In the conference organised by the Malta Union of Professional Psychologists in 2002 that centred around challenging the stigma on homosexuality, Sandro Mangion, who was the first coordinator of MGRM back then, addressed the closing part of the conference in which he stated:
"This social stigma prevents the gay adolescent from accepting his or her sexuality, and we all know that sexuality forms a very basic element of our personality. It is because of this stigma, that many young men and women are ending up deceiving themselves and those they love by hiding their lack of heterosexual conformity - and they do this because they do not feel accepted and loved as they are. It is this social stigma which is causing so many young men and women to grow up to hate themselves, or even to harm themselves.
...Wouldn't you agree with me if I said that someone who doesn't accept himself or herself as he or she is, cannot love themselves? And wouldn't you agree with me also if I say that someone who cannot love himself or herself cannot love others either?
...Homophobia, and any other form of intolerance and hatred, can only be dealt with by investing in the values we instil in our children. Let us stop giving them the impression that people who are different are bad and to be avoided or even discriminated against. Let us be positive role models for them, by showing them the validity of accepting and celebrating the diversity that will surround them in life".
Paul A. Bartolo & Mark G. Borg (Eds.) (2003). Homosexuality - Challenging the Stigma. Valletta: Agenda Publishers