Yuly from Colombia went to Denmark on exchange. She lived in a host family consisting of the couple Michael and Lars and Michael’s daughter, Marie, on the countryside. Read her experience of living with a gay host couple.
The new experiences that are lived in a year of exchange are transformed by that home that receives us, a family that is capable of going beyond blood and creating bonds that remain for life, that you carry like a suitcase that defines you daily. With that in mind when filling out my application about the family, I wanted to be open to everything without refusing to experience new things, but I never came to think that my decisions regarding that application would change my life.
One day AFS sent me an email mentioning that they had not found a family to welcome me and that for that reason I had to make a video, so I fixed myself, I made several videos and chose the best one, one where my nerves were not noticeable. Don’t send it all at once, I never sent it. Hours later my mother received a call from AFS where they told her little by little that there was a family that loved me. Tt was two men and their daughter who would give me the opportunity to share smiles and sadness. When my mother found out, she sat down from the shock, hung up and mentioned the situation to me and that she had a few days to make a decision, and I without hesitation said yes. She mentions that I had to talk to my dad first, so I called him and when I told him he answered a resounding no. When he got home he had changed his mind, he had spoken with an anthropologist who knew me and worked with him and it made him reflect that if he wanted me to have the same as in Colombia, then what was he going for, finally the idea was to see beyond of what he had lived, to know other cultures. Taking into account that my desire has been to study anthropology professionally, an aspect that I am currently doing. So, we called AFS and gave our answer.
I communicated with them on Skype, I had my two families reunited thanks to technology. They began to have details before traveling, they asked me how I wanted my room painted according to my tastes and have everything prepared for my arrival.
After the wait, the flight, the camp, and the hours on the train, I was nervous in front of them. But those nerves went by as the days went by and I felt more and more part of the family. Of course, there were prejudices that I had from my home, but these changed and made me realize that there is no single truth and that to understand the world you have to give yourself the opportunity to live it.
Without them, my experience would not have been as magnificent, because they not only transformed me but also my parents in Colombia, because when they saw the love they gave me, they changed their thinking about adoption by homosexual families. Also, the rest of my family found out and understood that they are my family and that I will defend them all my life. From each one I bring memories, photos and good experiences, now I have a great family that has been able to overcome their differences.
Now that I have not seen them beyond the camera for years, I realize that I wear them every day and that partly thanks to them I am who I am today. They gave me food, they gave me shelter, they took care of me when I got the flu, they helped me to travel within and outside the country and it is those actions that make you form a family for life. Finally, this experience left me great lessons that will never be forgotten and I owe it to those who received me in large part. Therefore, one learns from differences, and we can only give ourselves the opportunity to meet and get to know the other.
Read the article about Michael and Lars (in Danish) here.