Study Guide

Ton in Postcards from No Man's Land


Openly gay and flirtatious, Ton is more than comfortable with who he is—it's good for Jacob to be around him because he gets to see what it's like for someone to embrace themselves fully. Jacob might have originally—and embarrassingly—confused Ton for a girl, but Ton is never confused about what he wants. Ever. Think about his conversations with Jacob, when he's candid about how his lifestyle doesn't sit well with everyone, but he doesn't care.

Even his dad is a "professional homophobe" who always tells him Doe maar gewoon, dan doe je al gek genoeg, which, as Ton explains, roughly translates to "something like: Act normal, because that is crazy enough. Don't be any different to anyone else. Everybody must be the same. The worst side of us Dutch. My father's favorite motto" (18.44). Gee thanks, Dad.

His little confession about his dad tells us exactly who Ton is. He doesn't want to be like everyone else—acting the same way, living the same life; he just wants to be himself. It's one of the things we love about Ton. He knows that his love for Daan and their open relationship isn't for everyone, and he doesn't care. He's just who he is. Period. Our main man, Jacob, is taking notes.