Icelandic Language Blog

Gay Pride 2013 in Reykjavík. Posted by on Aug 14, 2013 in Icelandic culture

gp071Hulda reporting from the 2013 Reykjavík Gay Pride parade! In Iceland it has cemented its place as one of the main parties of the year and it draws almost the whole population of the island to the two biggest cities, Akureyri and Reykjavík. There’ll be lots of photos in this entry so be prepared. 🙂

Unlike last year when we had a flood of rain washing the parade from the start to the finish this year the weather was quite ideal. It was cloudy but warm, not very windy and no rain what so ever until the parade and the following show were both well over and done with. I was wearing quite a showy outfit that consisted of many layers so I actually preferred the lack on sunshine because I would have boiled slowly alive in my dress otherwise. 😀


At the beginning of the parade one thing seemed to set a theme for the day: all the multicolored cardboard crowns. They were absolutely everywhere at first but soon gathered together and it became apparent that the people wearing them had not just accidentally decided to wear them all at the same time, they were a specific part of the parade.


The sign says: “Mannréttindi, ást & barátta í 35 ár” (= Human rights, love and battle for 35 years). Apparently this was an anniversary parade, which explained the crowns.


“The embassador of Canada and his husband are proud participants of the parade.”


This t-shirt was so cute!


The American embassy was naturally also there. They had decorated the embassy building with rainbow flags for the occasion, which we saw as the took a short cut towards downtown at one point and happened to walk past it.


Some amazing outfits I saw before the parade began. Here’s either two angels or an angel and a demon, lots of respect for all the trouble they had seen for their wings, make-up and costumes.


More amazing costumes here. I wish I had taken a better photo to show you the height of their heels because walking on those through the whole capital city was no small feat!


Russia’s recent political changes had definitely not gone unnoticed. Gold medal for discrimination.


In fact it was a popular theme among the protesters, some drawing attention to the way Russian police has been treating homosexual citizens…


…some to the oncoming Olympic games. Ólympíuleikar =/= mannréttinði (= Olympic games =/= human rights).

The sign behind the duo in front says “Pútin koddí sund“, which gave me a lot of trouble at first when I attempted to translate it. I had to consult an Icelander on this one; it’s actually “Pútin komdu í sund” (= Putin come to the swimming pool with us) written like it’s often pronounced. When Icelanders speak fast they leave out whole parts of a words, in this case the ‘m’ and ‘u’ in “komdu“.

What does it mean then? Well, I’m not sure but these people belong to the LGTB football team Styrmir. They’re fun people and I’m sure Putin would have a great time swimming with them. 🙂


Here was the trans* part of the parade. They were led by two black-clad, masked judges and their signs state what became of them:

Ég var laminn” (= I was beaten up), “Ég er í felum” (= I’m in hiding), “Ég var geldur” (= I was castrated*), “Ég var myrt” (= I was murdered), “Ég er álitinn geðveikur” (= I’m considered insane).


Hatrið fór ekki neitt” (= Hatred didn’t go anywhere) sign was followed by a flag parade including countries where homosexuality is illegal.


The flag parade ended with a positive note though. Here’s Páll Óskar (the shiniest person in the photo, as is his habit) carrying a sign saying “Takk hinsegin Ísland fyrir að mæta hatri með kærlek” (= Thank you queer/gay Iceland for meeting hatred with love).


Hin Húsavík (= the Húsavík).


The hoodie on the right says “verum vinir” (= let’s be friends). 🙂


Of course this man was the one that many of the Reykjavík people were most interested in seeing – it’s our mayor Jón Gnarr. This year he was dressed in the Icelandic national dress and threw roses at the crowd.


Deadpool was among the lucky ones to catch one such rose. I’m not sure why he looks so defeated here, either because people kept calling him Spiderman or because the stem of the rose broke…


After the parade drew closer to its finishing point people flooded the small streets trying to find less crowded routes to the next party place, Arnarhóll. Too bad everyone else had the same plan. 😀


Arnarhóll is named after this guy who, for the occasion, is providing local children with a better view point: Ingólfur Arnarson, the first permanent settler of Iceland.


Icelanders showing creativity in finding higher places to see the parade better. The statues are always a favourite but bus stops are also well-liked. The worst daredevils try the roof tops though…


Remember this if you plan to make a piece of art for Reykjavík: it has to carry several dozen children’s weight to be acceptable. 😀


The crowd was not even at its worst when I took this photo. As you can see on the left side there’s still a mass of people pouring onto the hill to watch the show soon to begin on the stage in front. Airplanes and at least one helicopter flew over the area while we waited and I was a little jealous at the amazing view they must have gotten!

Have a look for more photos and music! Jón Gnarr really had that traditional song, Krummi svaf í klettagjá, playing in his car.

More about Jón Gnarr and his dress in Icelandic here!

Vísir-magazine’s photo gallery can be found in this link.

More about the day in Vísir here.

Mbl-magazine’s photo gallery over here. Lots of photos!

And here‘s their look on the day – titled “Reykjavík exploding of joy!” 😀

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About the Author: hulda

Hi, I'm Hulda, originally Finnish but now living in the suburbs of Reykjavík. I'm here to help you in any way I can if you're considering learning Icelandic. Nice to meet you!