The QueerExchange Team

Talk to us, ask us questions! Here's a little bit of about our team members, so you can get to know us more.

Bene (USA 06/07) supervised pre- and post-orientation camps at AFS, is an editor AFS Germany's magazine HORIZONTE and works in Berlin as a freelance journalist. They are politically active at Voices4 Berlin and are currently doing a PhD on the subject of Queer feminist positioning strategies in German-speaking hip-hop..

“In a cosmopolitan organization like AFS, queer issues must be considered and included in order to better reach and support queer young people and families. That is why it is great that queer swapping creates awareness for queer issues and improves visibility in the organization.”

Rico is a real globetrotter. From Saxony he went on his voluntary service to Mexico (2011/12), after which he was a supervisor for a short exchange program to India. Professionally, his path has now taken him via Ireland, Mexico and Berlin to Houston, Texas, USA.

“In many places, people negatively focus on aspects of sexuality. Therefore, I am committed to a positive education with QueerExchange.”

Ole has been part of QueerTausch since the beginning. Before that he was with AFS in the USA (2003/04 and lived in Sweden during his studies. At QueerExchange he supports individual projects and workshops on a small scale. 

“Within the work at QueerTausch, it is particularly important to me that both families and students in particular enjoy learning interculturally, without an LGBT background being seen as a burden, but rather as an enrichment.”

Judith was in the Dominican Republic in 2008/09 and has been a volunteer at AFS ever since. She works in child and youth social work in southern Germany.

“I think it's important that there is a platform for queer issues in connection with intercultural exchange - that's what QueerExchange is for. Within AFS and beyond, we are working on more visibility, provide assistance and welcome enriching perspectives. I am happy about the many people we meet.”

Adrian (USA 06/07, Croatia 09/10) is active in the committee in Berlin and is particularly responsible for events in the field of posting.

“I'm with QueerExchange because I think it's important that queer issues are dealt with in an exchange context and that there are contact persons for it.”

Nadja spent her year abroad in the USA in 2009/10 and has been a volunteer at AFS ever since. 

“Intercultural exchange offers the unique opportunity to strengthen a colorful pluralism, break down prejudices and build bridges. Intercultural exchange must not stop at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people or alternative family forms. QueerExchange acts as an important mouthpiece here, makes diverse sexual and gender identities visible at AFS and is particularly accessible to everyone * at any time.”

Julia (Thailand 1993/94) is a founding member of QueerExchange. She was guest sister nine times for AFSers from seven countries. From her sending experience, she says: 

“In the beginning, future exchange students and their families had concerns about whether a 'non-traditional' queer host family might be the right choice. In the meantime, more and more Hopees are opening up to this diversity in their exchange year and perceive it as enrichment and normality.”