USA 2018/19 | School Program
Having this AFS experience in America was the occasion for me to get to think about my gender identity and my sexuality. I knew before leaving that I was a queer trans boy. Nevertheless, being in a new place with people I didn’t know gave me the space to experience who I truly am. Nobody knew who I was before and having everybody using my name Léo, without worrying about someone remembering my birth name was incredible to me. I had the chance to be in a very queer-friendly family that advocates for LGBTQ+ rights. The fact that I was out as a queer trans boy has made my year very easy. My school in America even let me use my real name instead of my birth name when it wasn’t even changed legally yet.
I didn’t experience much transphobia or homophobia in America. Some people obviously make some comment that I could consider as being rude, like the time someone asked me “If I really was a guy”. But overall, I had a great experience with AFS. Being out as queer helped me to be more confident. I even found a boyfriend in America, his name is Dylan and we have been dating for 1 year and a half now, even with the distance between America and Reunion Island (it’s a French territory in the Indian Ocean and it is where I currently live). I got the chance to have the American teen experience to go to prom with him and it was truly amazing!