What is Pride’s message?
“Everyone comes to PostNL primarily to work, and their orientation is not important for that. There are people who find it difficult to express their sexual preferences, simply because they do not feel at ease. The message, in a nutshell, is that they do not have to feel ashamed, and that they can feel free to be themselves.”
Members of PostNL Pride. 4th from the left is Jack Brilleman
How did colleagues react when you told them that you were gay?
“Naturally I don’t have ‘hi, I’m gay’ written on my forehead. When I started at PostNL, I came in with the message: I have two children, and I’m married to a man. None of my colleagues has ever been difficult about that. I’m glad to be able to share things from my personal life with my colleagues; I don’t have to tell complicated stories. At the end of the day, it’s all about the fact that I do my work well and I treat my colleagues with respect, and not about who I share my bed with.
I’m glad to be able to share things from my personal life with my colleagues
However, it’s not always that easy for everyone. There are enough LGBT people who think twice about saying anything about their private life at work, because they’re scared of negative reactions. And that’s exactly why PostNL Pride is so important. I’m really proud that PostNL is actively working towards the acceptance of LGBT people.”
Do you see yourself as a role model?
My openness has helped others to be open about their own orientation
“I don’t necessarily see myself as a role model, but I also don’t avoid that role. I think it’s good when people see that I’m leading a big team and that I’m open about who I am. There are people in my team who have said to me that my openness has helped them dare to be open about their own orientation, so in that sense I am a role model.”
In what ways does management support PostNL Pride?
“PostNL is one of the major sponsors of Amsterdam Gay Pride. By sponsoring this event, PostNL shows its employees and the outside world that it prioritises acceptance for LGBT people. The fact that our CEO Herna Verhagen is a sponsor of PostNL Pride is very meaningful for the network. As a non-LGBT person, she openly supports us and is committed to an inclusive PostNL.”