Under Kevlaret is a place where guys can talk about things that are difficult

Six questions for Mauri Liebendörfer, who runs Under Kevlaret.

1. Tell me about Under Kevlaret, what do you do?

Under Kevlaret is a non-profit organization that supports boys. We create a space where boys can talk about things that are difficult (or just unfamiliar) to share with their friends and family.

The movement itself started six years ago by Mårten Granlund. Now, I have taken over the reins to guide and develop Under Kevlaret further.

2. When and how did you understand that Under Kevlaret was something for you?

Through Storebror.org, which Navid Modiri runs, I came into contact with Mårten and Under Kevlaret. When I became a father to a son, I could no longer hide. I was on paternity leave for six months 4.5 years ago, and that's when I started looking.

When I found Under Kevlaret, everything fell into place, and I realized that I had hidden things within me. I am a boy, and I had learned that this is how we do it. As a child, I was smart, and it became a role to be the smart boy, but I concealed my feelings.

What touched me was going on this journey within myself. What I have learned is a gift, and now I can pass on that gift. I had long dreamed of working on something I am passionate about.

It is the conversation and the inner process that I like so much about Under Kevlaret. It's not that everything is easy, but with us, you get to know your feelings more. If I start from myself, I sometimes get the feeling that I am hiding again, but I control it and have learned to listen more to myself.

Now I experience more of everything. I can be happier, more bored, or it can be anger that wants to come out, then I talk to myself about it. The beautiful thing is to feel stable. I control more of myself, and it gives me enormous security.

3. How do you get the boys to open up?

Through our chat, we try to find an entry point for the boys and lower the threshold so that the conversations become easier. Many young people learn to shut everything inside themselves. 

We don't have to start with the heaviest questions, like how was your childhood? Here, everything is straightforward and completely anonymous.

We have a clear focus on what the boys may be interested in, and we talk about that first. It can be football, technology, motor interest, yes, whatever. We continue to unravel this curiosity we find. How does this feeling feel? By experiencing and feeling how it feels when they think about their interest, it's easier to let go of their own mask and start seeing things from new perspectives.

I am proud of the contact we have with the boys on the chat. We are open from Sunday to Thursday from 8 pm to 10 pm, and it can save their lives. They are taken seriously here. They are listened to, and it gives relief just for the moment. We provide keys to how they can open up more themselves.

Over the years, we have collected a network of followers in the media, including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and going forward, we will be more on TikTok so that those who need us can reach us in more places.

4. Why did you choose Octany?

We searched and tested various crowdfunding services. We needed to have a service that worked continuously to have both monthly donors and one-time donations. Here, you had a neat solution.

I've worked a lot with websites and sure, we can set up several different flows, but then we found Octany. Here I didn't have to think so much, it's spot on and gathers everything in one place with different ways of receiving payments.

5. What's the best thing about Octany?

The thing I like the most when I think about it is that you feel like something more than a regular service, you feel more personal and closer. I appreciate the help I got from you when we were starting out. I feel like you're there and that I can get support when I need it.

6. What's happening with you in the future?

We will be giving lectures in schools and sports clubs about what it's like to be a guy. This topic usually interests girls as well.

Primarily, it's lectures for middle and high school but we also plan to give lectures at universities, social work educations, etc. in the fall.

We're also working on a documentary about guys' interests, where the working title is "guys do things". Here we want to collect more money, so more people are welcome to contribute through our website. We've started with a pilot; Guys drive cars. Look out for it on our channels and on underkevlaret.se.

Mauri Liebendörfer was interviewed in the autumn of 2022.