Haagse Mensen Magazine Featuring Jean-Bernard

Haagse Mensen Magazine Featuring Jean-Bernard

17 May 2024 Press 0

The 2024 Issue of “Haagse Mensen” is specially dedicated to some unique and empowering people of Den Haag,

featuring Jean-Bernard, founder of the Queer Mind Foundation, who sits on the Rainbow bench that he arranged to be installed as a vibrant symbol of unity for the local community around Hygenpark where it stands.

The story behind the iconic bench sheds light on the obstacles faced by the LGBT community and is a lesson that we can all reflect upon.

Its presence had faced challenges that exposed issues of social acceptance, self-isolation and the power that community support can serve in neutralising cultural divisions that have, in the past, triggered violence and xenophobia.

Ironically, every attempt to destroy the spirit that the bench stands for, through acts of vandalism, galvanised more awareness and support towards its symbolic presence. 

To fix a fractured society we need more awareness, acknowledgement of our diversity and empathy towards our shared experience as human beings, and the bench has become a local landmark that will forever stand for that unifying message. 

With these principles rooted into the fabric of our communities, it can grow, and as a positive result of this experience, thanks to the hard work of its founder Jean-Bernard, the Queermind Foundation now has the prospects for providing safe housing for LGBTQAI+ people needing support that facilitates their well being as valued members of the community regardless of their sexual preference.

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