Norbert & Thomas

Host family for Ethan 2013/14

It was wonderful for us to have the opportunity to welcome a son into our family for a year. It was an important experience for us as a gay married couple to have a son who was also gay.

We were able to learn a lot from Ethan because we had a completely different gay socialization due to his age and his origins, he came from New York. We were able to learn that in this age group there is no longer any difference between homosexual and heterosexual. It was important for Ethan to be able to see how a gay couple lives and is accepted and tolerated within the neighbourhood, family and professional environment. He could accept us as role models and another very important aspect was that he didn't have to come out to us. He could feel very comfortable right away.

I myself would never have thought that it would have been possible to take on an exchange student because of my sexual orientation. That's why I was very relieved in the mid-1990s when I found out that a German exchange student was going to live with a gay couple in the USA for a year. This gave me a lot of encouragement and inspiration to do the same thing someday. That's why I'm very happy that AFS gave us this opportunity last year.

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