Beauty of freedom

Welcome to Reykjavik Pride

Gunnlaugur Bragi Björnsson,
President of Reykjavik Pride

Bjarndís Helga Tómasdóttir,

It’s time for Reykjavik Pride! This year’s theme, ‘Beauty of Freedom’, is borrowed from ‘Með hækkandi sól’ (e. With the rising sun), by our one and only Lay Low, which was Iceland’s entry to Eurovision 2022. The theme not only refers to the freedom to gather and reunite after the loneliness and isolation of the past two years, but also to the beauty of an open, diverse, and free society. Freedom has been in the focus of the Icelandic LGBTQIA+ community for a long time. Almost three decades ago, brave queer people marched the streets of Reykjavik and demanded basic human rights in a small, hostile society.

In recent years, a lot has been achieved. However, the beauty of human diversity is still not fully celebrated. Full freedom has not been achieved and every day the beauty and freedom of the LGBTQIA+ community is under attack. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us and we were all deeply shocked in June when queer individuals were murdered outside the London Pub in Oslo. At the same time, we see alarming signs of increased harassment and violence against our community here in Iceland. These clear signs of a setback in our struggle for human rights and respect must be taken seriously and acted immediately. Protective legislation must be further strengthened and education on all levels needs to be significantly improved.

Visibility, role models and documenting our story are crucial and that’s where Reykjavik Pride and this magazine play a key role. At Reykjavik Pride, queer history, culture and arts, LGBTQIA+ people and their struggles, are in the absolute forefront. For many years, Reykjavik Pride Magazine has been the single regular publication on queer history and society in Iceland. The historical value of each issue is therefore enormous. We take our role seriously and proudly present this 2022 issue, and the Pride programme in full.

Happy Reykjavik Pride!