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Sweden Opens Swimming Pool Designed Specifically For LGBT Community

Sundbyberg, a progressive suburb outside Stockholm, Sweden, is opening the first public pool designed specifically for the LGBT community.

While the pool will retain traditional men's and women's changing areas, a third space with private cubicles has also been created for the benefit of transgender swimmers, who maybe not feel comfortable or safe in public locker rooms. The cubicles can also be used by disabled swimmers who need a caretaker, religious people, or parents taking children to the pool.

According to thelocal.se, the new pool has been certified LGBT-friendly by RFSL, Sweden's national LGBT organization. Representatives are training the pool staff to be sensitive to the needs of its LGBT patrons, as well.

"I've learned a lot myself about how I can behave more like a human being and provide better treatment in some ways that I didn't think of before," says swimming pool manager Mikael Eljenmyr.

Sweden is recognized as one of the most LGBT-inclusive in the world: Same-sex sexual activity was legalized in 1944 and same-sex marriage in 2009. Last year, the government formally recognized the word hen as a gender-neutral pronoun, in addition to han (he) and hon (she).

The LGBT-inclusive pool will open on January 30.

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