Iceland: From a Grey Soviet City to a Festival of Color, Campness and Culture

Reykjavik Pride takes over the city like it would in any other European capital (learn the lesson, Istanbul) and is a wonderful opportunity for both party and protest. For six days, the queer people of Iceland take to the streets, covering everything in rainbows and glitter, to celebrate their bizarre deviations from the norm and to demand special rights.

It’s absolutely hilarious. You get to see boys kissing boys, people dressed in the wrong clothes, even women riding motorcycles (which I hope, for their safety, are being remotely controlled by their husbands). I know that all those things sound incredibly dark and dangerous, but with all the sparkles and rainbows, it’s like watching a Disney Channel realisation of Sodom and Gomorrah.

I initially refused to go to Reykjavík Pride when I arrived, as I couldn’t fathom what anyone in Reykjavík had to be proud of. If you’ve read my blogs at Guide to Iceland, you’ll know how I feel about such Wildlings. Upon discovering what it actually meant, however, I was intrigued to see whether the LGBTQIA community could bring any camp to this bleak, miserable city.

Turns out, they effortlessly could. It was awe-inspiring; for the first time ever, I was seeing culture in Iceland without watching international television. I’ve been an avid attendee ever since, and I’m not the only one who loves it. Up to a hundred thousand people come downtown to watch the Pride parade, a third of the country. It’s a shame that the other two thirds are so homophobic, but as we know, Icelanders are an incredibly bigoted people, proven by the fact that we can’t trust statistics.

This year is due to be the biggest yet. Read more via Gay Iceland