Thierry is EQUAL’s co-president and a member of the At Large chapter, based in Paris, France. Get to know him as part of our new ‘Meet the Board’ series!
What country is on the top of your list to visit?
There are none which are really at the top of a list for the simple reason I don’t maintain a list and I like to travel where ever that is… That said, there are a number of trips I sometimes think about: driving through US Route 66, Roadtrip accross California and Australia “a-la-Priscilla”, Moroccan Desert Walk & Meditation, Trekking in Myanmar and Northern Thailand, Discovering North Korea and also travelling back in South East Asia with my spouse who has never gone to Asia yet, though I’m not sure it’s a good idea to go back to places I kept great memories of…
What is your link to LGBT?
Besides my job at ALU and my role in EQUAL!, I’m also actively involved in a French NGO by the name of CONTACT – the equivalent of the American PFLAG – whose role is to support parents of LGBT children to understand and accept their children the way they are, as well helping LGBT people who are not sure about themselves and do not know how to talk about their “difference” with their parents, and sometimes help them when this situation causes family troubles. Thanks of this involvement, I have a number of close friends who are LGBT or parents of LGBT. Oh and also my spouse is gay.
What job or task do you believe you have had your greatest impact at ALU?
I would think this was in the frame of contract negotiations with a customer in South East Asia back in the early 2000s. At the time, I was tendering manager and we were a rather small team, from tendering and sales organizations, very focused on this opportunity. We spent several weeks together in-country interacting with the customer on a daily basis until the final contract signature. This was a great experience and i was very fortunate to be part of it.
What is the decisive factor that triggered your involvement in EQUAL!?
Before the merger, I had gone through a tedious coming out process at work, with a few selected colleagues. Because this started when I was working in Kuala Lumpur, it was making the process a bit harder as this topic was sensitive in Malaysia, a muslim country which is condemning homosexuality. When I came back in France, the company was going through the merger and soon after it, I discovered EQUAL! and from the start I thought it was great to have a (virtual) place to discuss and interact with people which had this particularity in common. And because this was volunteer-based, I wanted to contribute in making sure this network would remain active and known for those who feel isolated or who might need it.
Which movies made you cry/laugh the most?
I don’t remember very well the story, but i remember very well how shocked I was during the movie “Dancer in the Dark”. Honestly I can easily cry when watching a movie or even TV series, but then I was crying and suffering so much that I wanted to leave the theater. Finally I stayed till the end, but it was really painful.
On a brighter note, I’d say I laughed the most with “Little Miss Sunshine”. I’m an easy spectator but rarely laugh, I usually smile and laugh only inside my head… For this movie, I was laughing for real and the whole theater room was doing the same. I watched the movie on DVD afterwards and I still had lots of fun watching the movie. If you have not watched it yet, you should give it a try !!
And since I started giving advice, you might also want to watch “Modern Family”, a very funny american TV-series. A really good TV show!