Huib Wurfbain: Building Bridges with Pride

Michele Ernsting
Article by: Michele Ernsting
Huib Wurfbain: Building Bridges with Pride

“I call on all of us to come out of the closet every day, to check-in with ourselves, is this who I want to be?”

This month we celebrate Pride in Amsterdam. THNK coach and facilitator Huib Wurfbain talks about his role on the board of the Amsterdam Pride Foundation, and what inspires him about this work.

Pride: Peace & Protest

“Amsterdam Pride is more than just a big boat parade. It’s a kind of social glue, or a bridge between many groups of people in the city. It goes beyond celebrating your color in the LGBTQ+ flag. Heterosexuals and families with children come together for the parade. Under the umbrella of pride, everyone under the sun can gather. The enthusiasm of participants and the energy they bring is what inspires me. 

On the other side of the coin, there are still a lot of challenges for people who are coming out. Pride in Amsterdam is still an act of protest. Everyone who comes out has a story which is sometimes beautiful and sometimes horrific. It’s great that we have this stage to allow everyone to tell their stories and show who they really are. That freedom is possible because we’ve created a safe space, but we still have to fight for that, even here in the Netherlands. And then consider that in over 70 countries around the world, being queer is a crime. In some countries, you can even be put to death just for being who you are.”

Pride and Leadership

“What I bring to the leadership of Amsterdam Pride are some very practical skills around things like finance, legal stuff and coordination. But I’m also a kind of bridge. I’m from a well established group, which has always had privileges. Many of the people which are now part of the community were often excluded from past discussions. I work with all of them to keep the dialogue open and help people understand each other, which is sometimes difficult. My work at THNK helps me with that.

THNK is a stellar example of how inclusion and diversity can be embraced in a creative way. It brings many different and interesting people together. The playfulness and the ability to reframe things is crucial to easing people out of their entrenched positions. They can learn that it’s a joyful experience to work together with so many different people. It enhances the flow and energy massively.”

Pride all Year Round

“My call to action is not just for Pride Month, but for all year round. I call on all of us to come out of the closet everyday, to check-in with ourselves, is this who I want to be? Are these the values that I represent? Am I happy with what I see in the mirror? 

Coming out is just about accepting all of who you are. As humans we all want to be part of the group, but on the other hand we’re also individuals. That creates a tension, a brave space to step into. That’s what Amsterdam Pride is all about. “

THNK and Pride

THNK values our LGBTQ+ team members, faculty, staff, and participants and works every day to create a leadership environment where everyone feels they can be their true selves.

If you’re more interested in our other leadership training, we have open enrolment programs for three career levels.