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Over the rainbow

Despite the fact that almost 98 per cent of people in Malta are Catholic, this small Mediterranean island has embraced LGBT+ rights, and sits proudly at the top of Europe’s Rainbow Index

When I hear about the prospect of visiting Malta, the small island nation just 90km south of Sicily, I’m excited. At home in Berlin, summer is over and temperatures are slowly but steadily dropping. The rumblings of the first storms of winter have already started, and the sound of rain on my windows is becoming familiar once again. But the word “Malta” carries all the temptations of summer: the sun shining in a deep blue sky, water that’s still warm enough to take a dip, and drinks on an open-air, rooftop bar with new friends.

As it turns out, of course, I’m not the only one thinking this way. September sees Malta become the base for Europe’s irst TropOut festival. Organisers Jamie Hutchinson and Aaron Zoanetti, from Melbourne, Australia, have designed their event as an “island boutique festival”. While “festival” might sound like a circuit party, with thousands of guests and music events taking place for days, TropOut is quite the opposite. Groups of never more than 100 gay guys meet for a mix of relaxed sightseeing, cultural discoveries and nights out at bars and clubs.

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About Attitude

On the cover: Fashion queen Donatella Versace! American Horror Star Cheyenne Jackson! Plus: Christeene’s alternative Xmas message, life after decriminalisation in India, Simon Callow, Canada’s Two-Spirit community.