Water | Vattnet

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James leads a lonely life in a luxurious castle in which his parents run a hotel. He never goes out with friends, spends his spare time in his room and peeks at the hotel’s guests out of boredom. Generally hides in his room, to stay away from his wannabe-controlling mother, who has no insight in the life of her son, James is forced outside when a group of handsome Swedish soccer players staying at the hotel capture his interest.

When he finds one of the boys injured at the hotel’s swimming pool, James offers his help and smuggles the boy into his room and locks the door. Locked up with a strange boy in his own room, James experiences the complexity of his own sexual feelings and insecurities for the first time.

WATER | VATTNET is a short coming-of-age film about family, loneliness and sexual identity. It examines the confusing period of adolescence and the first homosexual feelings of a young boy

Swedish Pronoun: Hen

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Identifying as non-binary can be difficult but Sweden has an official gender neutral pronoun: hen. It’s  similar to the use of singular “they” in English. It took inspiration from the neutral pronoun in the Finnish language (hän) and after much debate “hen” was officially adopted.

Its use is:
– for talking about someone who’s gender is unknown
– when the gender is unnecessary in the conversation
– for talking about someone who identifies as neither male nor female

It’s been used in various places in Sweden, some say since the 1960s, but was discussed in mainstream media in 2013 and eventually placed into the official Swedish dictionary in 2015.

It has two main uses in Sweden. The first is, obviously, for LGBT+ groups but the second is interesting. Some schools and pre-schools have started using “hen” for their pupils so as not to push gender roles or identities on their students.

First studies suggest that the use of “hen” in early education doesn’t reduce children’s tendency to use gender to categorise people but it reduces their tendency to gender-stereotype and gender-segregate.

The use of hen is the same and just as simple as han (he) or hon (she), for exmaple “hen är vacker” – “they are beautiful”.

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Raised Without Gender

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A new documentary heads to Sweden, home to gender neutral kindergartens and gender non-conforming families, to find out what it’s like to grow up beyond the binary.

With recent victories for the trans rights movement, and more young people defining as something other than “male” or “female” than ever before, Amelia Abraham visits Sweden – arguably the world’s most forward-thinking country when it comes to questioning gender – to find out what it’s like to grow up without the gender binary.

In Sweden, the gender neutral pronoun “hen” has been in the national dictionary since 2015 and is now commonly used by most Swedes. Since 1998, the Swedish government’s school plan has forbidden enforcing gender stereotypes, and government-funded gender neutral kindergartens with gender aware teachers has made it possible for families to raise their children without a set gender identity – something that often sparks controversy in the foreign press.

Amelia spends time with one of these gender non-conforming families, made up of mapa (mum and dad) Del LaGrace Volcano, who was born intersex (both male and female); the children, five-year-old Mika and three-year-old Nico, and their grandma, Margareta. She visits Mika and Nico’s gender aware kindergarten to find out what the teachers and the other kids make of Mika’s gender expression. She also meets Lotta Rajalin, the founder of Sweden’s gender-neutral kindergartens, to learn how they go about deleting gender norms from education, as well as psychiatrist Dr Eberhard, who is against Sweden’s attitude to gender in kindergartens.

Reel

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It is the last day before Victor and his parents are moving to another city. So he and his best friend Robert do all the things they liked to do together so much: skateboarding, spraying, hanging out. But something is different this time, there is something much more than just a friendship. Immersed in childhood memories, this film explores emotional and sexual boundaries between two best friends.

Submitted by Kimmo

Hej, Daniel

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If you want to watch this video, you have two options: Either you go and learn Swedish (very melodic language, can recommend!) or you just focus on watching a pretty cute babygay doing… stuff. However you decide, enjoy! And check out his channel, he has loads of videos and most of them have a lot of his pretty face in it and sometimes he’s singing.

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