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

milkboys Films, Films & Cinema 5 Comments

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

milkboys Mixed & Random 11 Comments

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.

Periodical Political Post *31

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Wildest Dreams

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This wild dream below is a Swedish one. He doesn’t only have a nice voice and cute face it’s also kinda fun to see him grow into a fierce baby queer through his YouTube and Instagram. Those clickbait video thumbs [Slightly NSFW] though…

Video submitted by teatime

Something Must Break

milkboys Films, Films & Cinema 20 Comments

The journey of a suicidal transgender teen in small-town Sweden swerves between striking and meandering in this impressive drama. What’s most consistent is the compelling lead performance from newcomer Saga Becker, who stars as Sebastian/Ellie, a waif whose need for sex and love leads to a dysfunctional affair. The object of her desire is a boy whose confused sexuality threatens to destroy the budding relationship.

The film’s bittersweet take on young love is familiar, but the gender-related difficulties add something fresher, and Becker has an undeniable screen presence. Director Ester Martin Bergsmark’s slight film works best as a character study focused almost exclusively on the lead. There’s a grubby ugliness – from transphobic violence to an obsession with urine – and a garish style that leaves an impression, although too much repetition holds it back.

The Guardian

You can watch the whole film on Vimeo–if you speak either Swedish or Spanish. I’ll try to find an English version and link it here when I do.

Something Must Break (Original Title: Nånting måste gå sönder)
Release: 2014, Sweden | IMDb | Website

Lucky Blue

milkboys Films, Films & Cinema 7 Comments

Olle, an introverted, well-mannered boy with an air of innocence and sincerity about him has been camping with his father at the same camping ground with several other people for years now. A sort of tradition that ends in a karaoke party.

Then one summer, a family friend brings her reticent ‘city boy’ nephew, Kevin, and his pet budgerigar. Olle accidentally releases the bird and what follows is a discovery of friendship and love between the guy who has grown up in a loving environment and simply accepts love for what it is and the guy who’s apparently been burned too many times in his own circle to feel comfortable with it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sP9_LlbzIbs

Western Tolerance?

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When Westerners talk about the differences between them and people  from other countries some topics seem to come up almost always. The tolerance of the Western world for example  is something we just love to brag about. But how tolerant are we really? The Get Data blog took a look at the numbers from an American perspective.

Where does the American Public Stand on Racism?

The World Values Survey is an association of social scientists from around the world that gather data on human values, political and social life, as well as a host of other social statistics.  Using the WVS data, we’ll present a brief analysis of tolerance, racism and xenophobia in the Western world.

The below figure shows the number of respondents by country that affirm the following positions. All questions began with, ‘Would not like to have as neighbours:’ and ends with the y-axis category.  For example the first survey question was, ‘Would not like to have as neighbours: Different Race’ and 5.6% of American affirmed with this statement.

tolerance01

Even within the Western world huge differences between neighbouring countries can be observed. While only 3.5% of the respondents from Sweden had a negative view on immigrants, 21.5% of Germans did.

Tolerance towards Homosexuality in the US

As we can see in the below figures, which again uses WVS data, the United States ranks among the most tolerant countries towards homosexuality.   Still, more than 24%, almost a quarter, of Americans believe homosexuality is never justifiable and only 21.5% believe homosexuality is always justifiable with similarly low numbers found in countries like Germany compared to 60% of Swedes.

 

The Lover

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One of the biggest influences in the early years of milkboys was Destroyer, a glamorous magazine that was maybe the most (in)famous project in a long line of inspirational and controversy-sparking endeavours by Karl.

Destroyer was discontinued a few years ago but Karl wasn’t done poking and testing the borders of our ideas about sex, youth and morality. Among other things he published what was, as far as I know, the first uncensored and translated shota comic in Europe for example.

lover-logo

Now he’s back with a new project: The Lover is the sequel to Destroyer – a magazine with political, cultural and photo features on everything about the boy. Karl explains what’s behind the name:

“A lover is someone who loves. It can be important to remember that when getting lost in the jungle of paragraphs regulating what expressions our love lives are allowed to take; sexual politics demand the presence of a lover, be it for a lifetime or for five minutes in a dark alley. Without a lover, no intimate human relations to regulate.”

lover-preview

The Lover has just come out with its second issue. You can find it at the Eisenherz bookstore in Berlin or in the webshop (where also back issues of Destroyer can be bought).

Melodifestivalen 2016

milkboys Music, Music & Dance 7 Comments

It’s that time of the year again, the Eurovision Song Contest is around the corner and few countries are as obsessed with it as Sweden and Germany; for some reason especially the queer populations of said countries. The big difference between the two being that Sweden is actually doing very well in the contest on a regular basis ;)

After 2012 (one of the greatest winning songs ever if you ask me) the Swedes took the crown again last year with the anti-bullying song Heroes performed by Måns Zelmerlöw. If you have a few minutes I urge you to check out his entry from last year just so you’re properly prepared for the epicness that was his performance during Melodifestivalen last night which you can see below.

Watch the whole thing, it’s absolutely worth it, promise…

Melodifestivalen is the annual Swedish competition in which the country decides which artist gets to represent them at Eurovision. This year it will be 17-year-old Frans; you can check out his song below. See you at the Eurovision finals on May 14!

via Destroyer Jorunal