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.
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.
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