Train company Thalys thinks two women kissing is “intolerable”
Imagine it. You spent the weekend with your partner in Paris. You say goodbye on the train platform with a hug and a kiss: it’ll be a while until you see each other again. Then an angry train official strides over to stop you kissing – he says it “can’t be tolerated”. Humiliating.
I’m Mirjam, an All Out member from Amsterdam. And this just happened to me, as I boarded a train from Paris. An official from train company Thalys told my girlfriend and I that it’s OK for straight couples to kiss on the platform, but not two women.
When I complained to Thalys, I expected a strong and quick response from them. I saw them as pro-equality: they even took part in Amsterdam’s Pride march. They say they’re looking into it, but that was weeks ago. Only a big outcry will show them that their reputation is at risk – and push them to take action.
Will you ask Thalys to denounce this anti-gay customer service – and train their staff to treat everyone the same, whether lesbian, gay, bi or straight?
In 2013, Thalys got positive press for an ad campaign featuring a gay couple. The ads showed couples embracing – reunited thanks to Thalys trains, just like us! But in reality, they didn’t let me kiss my girlfriend on the platform. And they’re staying silent after one of their staff went on an anti-gay rant. We need to get them to put their marketing messages into action.
Will you call Thalys out on their hypocrisy?
I sent a complaint through the Thalys website when I arrived back in Amsterdam. I got a short reply that Thalys was looking into it. But that was weeks ago and I’ve had no indication that the company is taking it seriously.
This isn’t just about this one person’s anti-gay rant. It’s about pushing the company to turn their marketing messages into action, and ensure they treat everyone fairly. Pushing back on homophobia happens with small daily fights like this one. And I need you.
If enough of us stand up now, we could even have impact beyond this one company. Seeing customers protesting about Thayls’ mistake will make other big companies keen to train their staff too, to prevent similar embarrassment. So this campaign could benefit millions of customers across Europe.
Let’s build an outcry now: go.allout.org/en/a/mirjam-thalys
I’ve been an activist against sexism and homophobia for years, so I know what can be achieved if a whole movement stands together. Ever since I first signed an All Out petition against the anti-gay bill in Uganda, I’ve admired All Out’s guts and passion. I love that All Out connects like-minded people on fights for equality – big and small, around the world. Will you help me stand up to Thalys today? go.allout.org/en/a/mirjam-thalys
Let’s go All Out together,
All Out member from Amsterdam
P.S. My girlfriend and I can’t believe that a Thalys official picked on us, just because we’re not a straight couple.
He said that we couldn’t kiss on the platform – even though it’d be fine if we were straight! Will you help us get Thalys to train their anti-gay staff? go.allout.org/en/a/mirjam-thalys