Every August the streets of Reykjavik come alive with all the colours of the rainbow and every type of person as the whole of Iceland get ready to celebrate Gay Pride with pride!
Reykjavik Gay Pride is a pretty unique event by global standards. Its organisers describe it as ‘the biggest little Pride in the world’, as it attracts as many as one-in-three of Iceland’s entire population out onto the streets to support LGBT rights specifically, and equality in society more generally.
This Saturday’s giant Gay Pride parade along Reykjavik’s main shopping street will be lined, as ever, with crowds eager to show their support and enjoy the fantastic atmosphere. Families, politicians, the elderly, the young and almost everybody else in between turn out decked in all the colours of the rainbow and proudly displaying flags and taking photos as they enjoy the spectacle along with the LGBT community.
Every year, Reykjavik Pride attracts many people all over the world to visit Iceland to take part – and this year the number has never been higher as the low rate of the Icelandic krona is making Iceland cheaper to visit than before.
Besides the lavish street parade, Reykjavik Gay Pride also boasts a whole variety of other official and unofficial events, unofficially starting Wednesday evening with the annual drag competition and officially starting with the Grand Opening Ceremony and party on Thursday evening.
The Gay Pride timetable includes several different party events, the huge parade on Saturday, and a massive outdoor concert on Saturday afternoon. The official Pride Party takes place at the downtown Nasa nightclub Saturday night and will be hosted by Iceland’s favourite pop star, the Eurovision veteran, Paul Oskar.
Iceland’s only large scale gay pride event culminates on Suday evening in a rainbow church service at the fairytale castle-like Hateigskirkja Church.
Iceland’s gay rights movement has a short history, as an organised movement only since 1978. However, the country has made huge strides and is now one of the world’s most progressive nations in the field. People have taken holidays in Iceland specifically for Gay Pride for the past 11 years and the event has grown almost every single time.
Further information on Reykjavik Gay Pride can be found on www.gaypride.is and information on tourism in Iceland is at www.visiticeland.com
Picture from GayIce.is