Raised Without Gender (Vice)

What it's like to be "Raised Without Gender"

A new Vice documentary discusses gender amid Trump's transgender military ban


Alessandra Maldonado
July 28, 2017 8:08PM (UTC)

The dissection of gender has long remained a complex issue. As tradition gender roles are eradicated through new, fresh outlooks on how a person can choose to "do" their gender allow an unlimited form of expression.

In a new documentary produced by Vice, the complicated relationship between people and their gender is explored.  The short film, "Raised Without Gender," follows the day-to-day life of one gender non-conforming family living in Sweden. Mapa (mom and dad) Del LaGrace Volcano — who was born intersex — and their two children, 5-year-old Mika and 3-year-old Nico share their experience of navigating their lives without the restrictions of gender.

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In the documentary Lotta Rajalin, the founder of gender neutral kindergartens in Sweden, told Vice that eradicating gender stereotypes from the school curriculums frees children from labels and categories. "We are not changing the children. We are changing our own thoughts," she said. "For children to have their right to be what they are, what they feel like they are, regardless of gender, class, sexuality, its about anti-discrimination," she continued.

In Sweden, the government has implemented laws promoting gender equality and has instilled gender neutral practices within their schools and workplaces. Since 1998, the country has banned the enforcement of gender stereotypes within the classroom and has even funded gender neutral kindergartens where children are allowed to express their full gender identity, regardless of what they may identify as.

According to the official site of Sweden, principles of gender equality "are increasingly being incorporated into education from pre-school level onwards, with the aim of giving children the same opportunities in life, regardless of their gender, by using teaching methods that counteract traditional gender patterns and gender roles." The site also explains the importance of parental leave, denounces violence against women, and describes their efforts to completely close the gender pay gap.

Although America has taken small steps toward gender equality, it is clear there remains a hostile sentiment toward members of the LGBT community, specifically transgender people. Most recently, Trump's transgender military ban because of "costly expenses" has returned back to an outdated approach on gender.

Watch "Raised Without Gender" here.

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Alessandra Maldonado

Alessandra Maldonado is an editorial intern at Salon. You can find her on Twitter at @alessamberr

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