Why I put a rainbow flag out today.

by Dries De Roeck on May 17, 2017

Today (May 17th) is #IDAHOT – the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia and I put out a rainbow flag. I rarely put out flags or publicly show signs of what I believe or relate to (ie. political parties, national celebrations etc…). But today is different.

Why this flag?

Over the past year, maybe two years, my sensitivity for overall ‘respect’ in our society has skyrocketed. Maybe this is because I’m watching my children grow up, maybe it is because my social circles have changed somewhat over the past years – unsure. But I seem to be confronted with inequality of varying kinds, not just related to gender issues – but between people in general. I believe there is a need for people to respect each other, listen with empathy, and have an attitude of ‘accepting’ in life.


Quite a few years ago, I was totally triggered by a statement made by Yoko Ono:

I admire most creative people and most creative efforts because I like the idea that they’re doing something. Even if it’s crap, I like the idea that they’re doing something.

Several people I talked to radically disagree with this statement. I still don’t. The reason I find this statement so powerful is that it reminds me that people put effort and belief/soul in the things they do. I believe we should not be judging any of that upfront. For example, when I stroll along amateur arts stalls on a local arts and crafts market, I might not feel particularly triggered by the art on sale – but the fact that people spend time being there should be respected. I believe this is often undervalued, people are judged at first sight, things are judged without actually looking at them.

This also holds up in a work related context. Diverse companies occupy a segment of the market, in the ‘traditional’ capitalistic way of thinking these companies ‘compete’. But in the end, it are people that make up these artificial groupings we call companies. Why does it need to be so difficult to ‘talk’ to each other, and figure out how collaboration can make sense in a world where we’re still talking $€£¥ when it comes to ‘growth’. (on that matter, check out Lousia Heinrich’s talk at Picnic Brazil )

Don’t judge upfront.

This morning, I put out my rainbow flag to stress that we should not be judging. Don’t take me wrong, we can and should have opinions. We should debate, talk and converse on and offline. But I would prefer to ‘bail out’ of any conversation that is anchored in assumptions, prejudice or any form of ‘keeping up appearances’.

I would like to focus my time and energy on constructive conversation and collaborative work in an unconditional way.

One comment

Hitting the nail on the head if you’d ask me!
On one hand side society is PUSHING to be creative, and be the first to jump. And on the otherhand society is PUNISHING people so much for doing things differently, and not walk the line…

by Fedrol on May 17, 2017 at 2:08 pm. #

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