In the picture
Interview with Rachael, coordinator of RainbowHouse
published on 8 August 2019
This summer, RainbowHouse Brussels presents its amazing team. Thanks to the expertise acquired over the years, our organization can carry out its various missions. Our development issue to the work of a dedicated, competent and versatile team. Discover the RainbowHouse’s range of sociocultural and political projects through its employees!
What were you doing before the RainbowHouse, what is your background?
I was actually a volunteer at the RainbowHouse before starting as the coordinator. But if we want to go far back I worked at the European Parliament. Firstly as an intern then as an assistant working on a number of subjects such as LGBT rights. Working at the European level gave me the opportunity to understand how political parties work regarding single issues. I worked with political parties with whom I did not and still do not share the same political values . You quickly learn that sometimes this is the only way to move forward. Many political parties act very differently at European level than at national level. Finding commonalities isn’t always easy but knowing that your work will affect a large group of people adds a level of responsibility and duty that I continue to apply to my work. Well I’ve always been active in the LGBTQI community and hopefully I can continue my work to its benefit.
Also prior to beginning my job at the RainbowHouse and attending countless amounts of Prides and not seeing myself represented, I co-founded an association which centers itself around QTBIPOC (Queer and Trans Black, Indigenous, People Of Colour). We concentrate on community building, empowerment and support. Often we only think about the perpetrators of racism and different types of discrimination. We forget the victims. They also need support and a (safer) space to be themselves.
Can you tell us what your job is at RainbowHouse?
Besides being the dutch-speaking spokesperson of the RainbowHouse my job consists of coordinating the team, being the representative of the RainbowHouse to public institutions, civil society partners and third parties. Additionally I work closely with the board to ensure communication is transparent with our members. I must add that without the input and support of the team my job would be impossible
"I like being an active member of this LGBT community and being able to use my position to elevate others."@Belgian Pride
What do you prefer in your job?
Well I love working with the team. But the thing I appreciate the most about this job is coming into contact with different people from a multitude of backgrounds. Being able to actively listen to everyone who we welcome into the Rainbowhouse. I like being an active member of this LGBT community and being able to use my position to elevate others. In addition to all of this who else can say they have access to a bar at their place of work 🙂 !
What are your next strong moments ?
I’m busy looking for different ways to fund the RainbowHouse. This house doesn’t receive federal funding (yet). I am also trying to find ways to make the RainbowHouse more work-friendly. The team often works under a great deal of stress in an inadequate spaces. With the growth of our associative network and a growing demand for our services I think the RainbowHouse needs to look to expand. We also need to think about making our spaces accessible for all. From October the RainbowHouse will work with Equal.Brussels and the International Organisation for Migration, on its first European project to build a toolkit for safe spaces for LGBTQ migrants.