joe

Argentina 2018/19 | school program

It was already clear to me when I applied: I will go abroad as an outed trans person. I wanted to risk a fresh start in an environment where no one knew me "from before". However, the search for a suitable country turned out to be somewhat complex. I really wanted to go to Peru, but QueerTausch advised me not to because they weren't sure they could find a host family for me there. However, I was given great support on my way to finding a suitable host country. After many discussions and agreements with the host countries, I then decided on Argentina. And thus to a country that is much more progressive and open to the LGBT community than I previously thought.

Being trans was never an issue in my host family, I was simply accepted as a son and a full member, which is still a very nice experience. Nothing was a problem at school either and my classmates supported me from the start. So it often happened that individual teachers were corrected by classmates when they misgendered me. I was and am really very grateful for that. But overall my gender identity was never really an issue, it was just accepted that I'm a boy and that's it.

Buoyed by the many positive experiences, I didn't make a big secret of my sexual identity, at least in my circle of friends. I was very active in an urban queer group, went to pride parades, and had a few queer friends. And I also had a classmate in my class who lived in an openly queer relationship, so I could also observe in my everyday life that being queer in my environment in Argentina was not a problem at all.

The experience that probably touched me the most emotionally was that at one of our seminars in Argentina the QueerTausch “You're safe with me at AFS” posters were suddenly unpacked and we were able to have our picture taken with them. I was very proud and happy to be able to share such a moment with the other exchange students.


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