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Who we are

Andrea (USA 1993/94) and Shuggi (Newzealand 1992) have been active volunteers for AFS on all levels since they came back from their own exchange. They have been a host family six times. "The strong connection, that develops throughout each year always touches us anew. We hope more queer families will get engaged with the adventure of "intercultural exchange"."
Julia (Thailand 1993/94) is a founder member of QueerTausch. She was a hostsister for nine exchange students from seven different countries. From her experience with the sending department she learnt that "in the beginning future exchange students and their families had many concerns, whether or not a 'non-traditional' queer placement could be the right thing. In the meantime, more and more exchange students open up for this diversity and experience it as an enrichment and a normality."
Adrian (USA 06/07, Croatia 09/10) is an active volunteer in Berlin and participates especially in sending orientations. "I am part of queer exchange, since I think it is important that people are also minding queer topics within an exchange context. It is important that there are contact persons."
Ole (USA 03/04), one of the founding members of QueerExchange, is an active AFS volunteer and trainer. "Within the AFS I love to see how families and students go through the process of intercultural learning, independent of their sexual identity, or -orientation." Ole is quite advanced in designing trainings and workshops, furthermore he is a driver for the internationalisation of QueerExchange. As a studied economist he has a special interest in sustainability and environment related questions."
Judith (2008-2009 Dominican Republic) - AFS volunteer in Rostock. "I think it's important that AFS also deals with queer topics - and that's what QueerTausch is for. We want to communicate this, as well as in AFS but also beyond, and I'm really looking forwards to meeting all the people that we get to know while doing that."
Benedict (USA 06/07) hosts orientational camps and is an editor for AFS Germany's magazine HORIZONTE. "In a cosmopolitan organization like AFS, queer issues need to be included and thought of in processes in order to reach and support queer youth and families better. That's why it's great that Queerexchange creates awareness for queer subjects and improves the visibility within the organization."
Vanessa (Japan, 2000) started in 2014 as an AFS/QueerExchange intern and is volunteering since then. "I am not queer myself but I know a lot of LGBT people. To stand up for more acceptance and respect for queer people is no question for me and I am happy that QueerExchange provides a basis for information and support and helps to integrate the diversity of people and families into the programmes of AFS."
Since his AFS-exchange year in Thailand in 2006/07, Tino is volunteering within AFS on different levels. In 2009/10 he stayed for social year in the Palestinian Territories, in 2012/13 he studied a year abroad in Norway. "I love being with QueerExchange, since to me queer theory and its emphasize on a reflexive interaction with differences as something relative and creative are beautiful and fruitful."