Sophie

Brazil 2015/16 | school program

Yes, I knew when I applied that I was definitely homosexual. I also saw the year abroad as an opportunity to come out and give everyone enough time to accept it (but it didn't take the time). My sexual orientation is definitely an issue. I'm in a relationship with a girl here and we're also openly showing that we're lesbian.

My coming out was completely problem-free. About four weeks after my relationship started, I decided to tell my host parents. Beforehand, I spoke to my supervisor/contact person about my concerns (intolerance, etc.) and also about the fact that I would like to change families if I am not accepted for what I am. She assured me that I would definitely be able to do that. Luckily my host family responded very well and we are traveling with my girlfriend too! She's part of the family, so to speak. My entire host family (including aunts, etc.) is very religious and I was also asked how I could live without believing in God, but it's not a problem for anyone that I'm a lesbian. Every day everyone asks about my girlfriend too.

My friends and people at school are among the first to know about it, since we were open about it at school (in the beginning just in the classroom). Except for a few people nobody has a problem with it. The most intolerant thing I heard, however, was from a staff member at my school who said to a friend's father: "Don't let your child run around with the lesbians! That's terrible!'. And a few other employees don't seem to accept it either, but the majority do. As already mentioned, my AFS chapter supports me in this. From my point of view, Brazil is very tolerant and I also have the feeling that many more people are openly gay/lesbian/members of the LGBT community here than in Germany!

Those around me in my home country already knew something (not because I told them, but because I pretty much fit the cliché), but I finally outed myself to the rest of my family through a photo on Facebook. My friends and my mother already knew about it. So far there have only been positive reactions, my environment in Germany is also asking about my girlfriend and my mother sends her gifts!

All in all, both of my environments (Brazil and Germany) are very tolerant and happy.


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