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Celebrate Reykjavik Pride, “The World’s Biggest Small Pride!”

by Our Editors
Skólavörðustígur (Photo by Gunnar Freyr Gunnarsson)

Known as the biggest annual event in Iceland, Reykjavik Pride is sometimes called “the world’s biggest small Pride!”

Skólavörðustígur (Photo by Gunnar Freyr Gunnarsson)

This year, the annual Reykjavik Pride, officially called “Hinsegin dagar” in Iceland, will begin on August 8th and run through August 13th.

This will be the 24th pride festival held in Reykjavik. The history of Reykjavik Pride dates back thirty years to 1993 when Iceland’s gay and lesbian communities gathered in the city of Reykjavik to demand equal rights. This demonstration was then repeated again in 1994. In 1999, Reykjavik Pride became an annual event, and the first Pride Parade took place in August 2000.

Reykjavík Pride Parade August 2019 (Photo by Hulda Mjoll)

Originally, the pride event had 1,500 spectators. Now Reykjavik Pride has evolved into a five-day vibrant celebration attracting over 100,000 onlookers from around the world. Known as the biggest annual event in Iceland, Reykjavik Pride is sometimes called “the world’s biggest small Pride!” Reykjavik Pride is organized and held annually by the not-for-profit Hinsegin dagar í Reykjavik – Reykjavík Pride. Any funds the organization raises are used to support the LGBTQ+ communities and improve other future events for the LGBTQ+ community.

Reykjavik Cityscape (Photo by TT Studio)

Reykjavik Cityscape (Photo by TT Studio)

The highlights for this year’s event include the Rainbow Conference hosted on August 10th, which will consist of a number of informative lectures, talks, panels, and more, on issues the queer community faces. A few of the topics covered in 2022 included Queer in video games, Trans People and Performance Sports, Queer 101: For Queer People and various other topics. There are also Youth Pride events for ages 13-17 like pool parties, bake-offs, and other exciting workshops; Drag Queen story time at the City Library; and All aboard!, a Queer Cruise and sail around the small islands off the coast from a different perspective. There will be incredible music and cocktails galore.

Additional events include a Pub Crawl featuring Queer Nightlife Stories (tours are in English and Icelandic), where you’ll walk around the city center, explore historical LGBTQ+ sites, and sip on some cocktails. While you celebrate Pride, make sure to reserve a seat for Kiki Queer Bar’s Drag Brunch. The Kiki Queer Bar is Reykjavik’s sole LGBTQ+ bar, and the drag brunch is a phenomenal experience. And for all their non-meat eating friends, they offer vegan brunch options as well.

Winter Lights festival Hallgrimskirkja Church (Photo by Fueled by Time)

Winter Lights festival Hallgrimskirkja Church (Photo by Fueled by Time)

This variety of marvelous events will then lead up to the main event, The Pride Parade on August 12th, where the LGBTQ+ community comes together to celebrate acceptance and togetherness. After the march, there is an outdoor concert featuring well-known Icelandic singers, bands, and entertainers.

Icelandair is a proud supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, and they partner with Reykjavik Pride to fly guests to the big event. Icelandair’s annual Pride Flight shows the visibility of the LGBTQ+ community. The cabin crew and pilots on their “Pride Flight” are either honored members or allies of the LGBTQ+ community. On board select international flights, the service is themed accordingly with a festive mood, rainbows, and delicious pride-themed treats. That love is also still shared with passengers on domestic flights. Last year, Icelandair sat down with members of the LGBTQ+ community and spoke with them about queer rights, the history of Pride in Iceland, and how the spirit of Pride and the spirit of Iceland come together.

The Spirit of Iceland: Reykjavik Pride celebrates diversity and love Icelandair

The rainbow is a sign of equality and queer pride for the LGBTQ+ community. You’ll see rainbows everywhere in Iceland, whether it be a sculpture right outside Keflavík airport, flags and sidewalks in the streets of Reykjavik, or one of the misty rainbows that nature creates in the stunning Icelandic landscapes. Iceland celebrates diversity and inclusion all year round.

Supporting Equal Rights for LGBTQ People in Westfjords, Iceland (Photo by Travelvolo)

Supporting Equal Rights for LGBTQ People in Westfjords, Iceland (Photo by Travelvolo)

Click here for more information on Reykjavik Pride

 

Photo by Creative Photo Corner

ICELANDIC LGBTQ+ HISTORY
In 1996, gay couples were able to legally register as living together, and in 2000 they were allowed to adopt. The first openly lesbian prime minister in the world, Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir, made international headlines in 2009 as being the first female Prime Minister as well as being the first openly gay prime minister. Her wife, novelist Jónína Leósdóttir, wrote a book about their love story and they were among one of the first same-sex couples to be married in Iceland. In 2010, same-sex marriage was legalized in Iceland. Visit The National Queer Association of Iceland Samtökin ’78  to learn more about the LGBTQ+ community in Iceland.


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