50 years ago, homosexual and transgender people in New York made a stand against the police for the first time, in a series of demonstrations that would become known as the Stonewall riots. This event inspired Swiss Post’s internal RAINBOW network to issue a special stamp.
The Stonewall riots sparked worldwide movements which today are known under the banner of LGBTI+. This acronym stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex, with the plus sign signifying “queer”. At Swiss Post, there are two networks that deal with diversity: MOSAICO (linguistic and cultural diversity) and RAINBOW (LGBTI+). This means Swiss Post is a true reflection of our society: not only are there four languages and cultures in Switzerland, but also countless subcultures of all kinds. In light of the social relevance of this topic, the postal organizations of Switzerland and Liechtenstein decided to create a joint stamp issue. The Swiss motif with a face value of CHF 1 focuses on the coexistence of various lifestyles, portraying them all fitting together like a jigsaw puzzle. The CHF 0.85 motif from Liechtensteinische Post depicts the cultural and sexual diversity of a colourfully illustrated crowd of people.
Interview with Simon Graf, Co-Chair of Swiss Post’s RAINBOW network
Mr Graf, could you give us a quick description of what your network does and what its aims are?
We are a self-organized, internal network within Swiss Post that, first of all, uses all sorts of events and information sessions to bring together lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees, as well as anyone else who’s interested. The aim is to create a network across all units. However, we don’t just interact within Swiss Post, but also with other companies and LGBT networks. We also initiate other projects. A good example of this would be championing the stamp marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.
Why is it so important to have this kind of network in the working environment?
I feel the subject of LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) is still far too absent in the workplace. We try to raise awareness of the subject so that it can be discussed more openly, and so that LGBT+ issues are no longer taboo – not just in private, but in the workplace as well.
How is your network structured?
There is a core team in which we work to develop projects. Within this team, we discuss possible projects and current topics. The events and activities are open to all employees who are interested in our topics.
Where did the idea for a stamp marking 50 years since the Stonewall riots stem from?
The idea came from the network’s core team. Other countries have already released stamps on the topic of diversity, such as Finland and Germany. In the end, we felt the anniversary marking 50 years since the Stonewall riots was the perfect opportunity to bring this idea to Swiss Post.
Do you like the final product and will you also use the stamp for private purposes?
Personally, I particularly like the 85-cent stamp, which is very appropriate for our network. But obviously the A Mail stamp has turned out successfully as well. I will most definitely buy several sets of the stamps and use them to send my Christmas cards. We will also inform other LGBT networks about the special stamps so that they become more widely known.
Have you been able to achieve anything concrete with the network?
We haven’t been around that long, as the network was only formed in 2015. Even so, we have been able to make a difference in this short period of time. The network has managed to position itself well within Swiss Post. With concrete projects such as the stamp and Swiss Post Group’s annual participation in Pride, we have also been able to achieve something in the public eye.
About Simon Graf:
Simon has worked for Swiss Post for over 15 years and has carried out different activities in various positions. Having started out in marketing, he now works in the Human Resources unit. In his spare time, he likes to read or spend time in nature. Simon lives with his husband in a registered partnership in Olten.
Philately: from 7.11.2019 to 31.12.2020 or while stocks last
Branches: from 14.11.2019 to 31.12.2020 or while stocks last
Unlimited from 14.11.2019
Offset, 4-colour; Gutenberg AG, Schaan, Liechtenstein
Stamps: 28 × 33 mm and 33 × 28 mm
Sheets: 140 × 194 mm and 194 × 140 mm (five rows of four stamps and four rows of five stamps)
White stamp paper with optical brightener, matt gummed, 110 gm2
13¼ : 13½ and 13½ : 13¼
Luigi Olivadoti, Zurich
(Crowd of people)
Samuel Jordi, Winterthur