In Iceland people are free to be who they are, and Iceland is one of the most gay friendly countries in the world.



History of gay rights in Iceland

The struggle for gay rights in Iceland has come quite a way since the seventies, when troubadour Hordur Torfason became the first Icelander to declare himself publicly gay. Due to harassment, he saw no other choice but to flee the country.

Later, Hordur became one of the main advocates for The association ’78, the main gay rights organization in Iceland, and has since been one of its most ardent champions.

Hordur was also instrumental in inciting what became to be known as the Pots and Pans revolution, when in wake of the 2008 financial crash Icelanders took to the streets and toppled the ruling government.

In reaction, Johanna Sigurdardottir was chosen to lead the country out of the crisis, and became the first openly gay head of state in world history. And though she hasn't been outspoken about gay rights, she was one of the first Icelanders to marry under new laws when full equal rights in marriage were achieved in 2010.

Today, all citizens of Iceland enjoy equal rights, no matter what their gender, sexuality or religion is.



 

Culture and nightlife

Gay scene in Iceland is can be a hive of festivity

Gay culture and nightlife in Iceland is quite a hive of festivity.

The occasional pride and rainbow festivals offer enough gay tourists for parties a few times a year. There's the Reykjavík Gay Pride festival around the second week of August, the Bears on Ice event in September and the Rainbow Reykjavík festival between January the 31st and February 3rd, to name a few.

As for gay-culture, there isn't much, because there does not need to be.

Gays participate as regular members of society, and in Iceland there are openly gay people in all sectors and levels of society. And as such, there is no gaybourhood, most straight clubs will have gay and bi humans mixed with their straight friends, and gay bars will have its share of straight humans partying with gay friends.

Iceland's favorite singer and role model, Pall Oskar, is not to be forgotten. And for your pleasure we would like to recommend his song “Love is international”. 

Related articles:

Páll Óskar, the Icelandic king of pop music and The nature of Icelanders

Find Golden circle tours or see the best attractions by Route 1 in Iceland.