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The first well-known gay man to come out was the loved singer and theatre personality Hörður Torfason, who encountered such a change of public opinion towards him that he exiled himself from the nation for fifteen years.Iceland’s first openly transgender woman, Anna Kristjánsdottir, met similar discrimination and ridicule when she first came to terms with herself; she had to move to Sweden in 1989 to even find a forum in which she could comfortably talk about gender dysphoria and reassignment surgery.The most recent development came in 2015 when the Church of Iceland declared that they would welcome same-sex partners to marry within their institutions.Observing as a Brit, this was a refreshing and revolutionary step, considering that the UK parliament introduced an entirely unnecessary ‘quadruple lock’ on preventing the Church of England from officiating such services back in 2013. Read on for all you need to know about queer history, Reykjavik Pride, and gay Iceland in general.

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There are many organisations today that specialise in gay travel; the local scene is ever-developing and there is a whole range of events catering specifically to queer people and our allies.Photo credit above: Helgi Halldórsson Iceland has not always been a sanctuary for queer people.The fight for equality here was as much of an uphill struggle as it was, and is, in the rest of the world.LGBTQIA people faced discrimination that came from this same thread of ignorance.Icelandic men had lived in the same way with hardly a change from settlement to World War Two, and were not used to their conventions being challenged.With almost full legal equality, strong representation in parliament and the media, and an infrastructure that exists to support and elevate queer people, Iceland has become a true rainbow paradise.The conditions that have allowed queer culture to thrive have turned Iceland into a popular tourist destination for sexual and gender minorities.Being queer in Iceland is not something that is tolerated; it is something that is celebrated.There are very few places in the world where people from across the spectrums of gender and sexuality receive as much love, and encounter as little hate, as they do in Iceland.The protagonist, Bjartur, could not come to terms with his daughter's growing independence, nor the fact that Iceland was no longer a nation where everything relied on the strength and physical labour of the men.Attitudes like Bjartur's meant that many modern ideas were scorned and, consequentially, the first people who publicly stated their queer identities were ridiculed and ostracised.


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  3. History of Gay Iceland. 2 - Gay Iceland Today. 3 - Queer Community in Iceland. 4 - Life in Gay Reykjavík. 5 - Gay Dating. 6 - The Future of Gay Iceland. considering that the UK parliament introduced an entirely unnecessary 'quadruple lock' on preventing the Church of England from officiating such services back in 2013.

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