Colour and cheer: Gay Pride hits Iceland

gayice1It’s that time of year again in Iceland when Reykjavik gets just a little bit more fabulous than it always is. Yes, that’s right; Gay Pride is underway and more dazzling than ever!

Gay Pride in Reykjavik is unlike almost anywhere else – often called ‘the biggest little Pride in the world’, 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.

Saturday’s parade route will be lined 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.

Many tourists visit Iceland especially to take part in Gay Pride – 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.

Over and above the diverse, sparkling parade, Reykjavik Gay Pride consists of a whole bunch of different events, unofficially starting Wednesday evening with the annual drag competition and officially starting with the Grand Opening Ceremony and party on Thursday evening.

Pride involves several parties, Saturday’s parade and the following massive outdoor concert. The official Pride Party takes place Saturday night at the downtown Nasa nightclub and will be hosted by Iceland’s favourite pop star, the Eurovision veteran, Paul Oskar.

In the spirit of inclusion and equality, Reykjavik Gay Pride officially comes to a close with a rainbow church service at the fairytale castle-like Hateigskirkja Church.

People have taken holidays in Iceland specifically for Gay Pride for the past 11 years and the event has grown almost every single time. 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.

More details on Reykjavik Gay Pride are available at www.gaypride.is and information on tourism in Iceland is at www.visiticeland.com

Photo from GayIce.is

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