“People have actually showed up to try to safe me from the harmful cult I’m in.”

Adad of three and a member of a christian congregation, known for anti-gay stance, comes to terms with the fact he’s gay and decides to act out. Doesn’t really sound like your typical coming out story. Still that’s what Davíð Guðmundsson (32) just did four years ago and faced the consequences.

“I was raised up on a farm in the north of Iceland, so I know to milk cows and drive a tractor,” is the first thing Davíð politely tells about himself when we ask him to shed some light on his past. His childhood seems like a good starting point as any other, before we go for the subject matter, which is what it was like coming out in a christian congregation commonly known for, well not being so friendly towards gays and lesbians throughout the years. At least not in the eyes of the general public.

Religion has always played a big part in Davíð’s life, he goes on. Around the age of four he moved to his great-grandmother, after his great-grandfather passed away and lived with her more or less until he was nine. “She was an old-time christian so pray’r and God was a big part of my upbringing,” he recalls with a smile.
It was then, at that early stage in his life, that Davíð found the path he wanted to follow. So later when he moved to Akureyri, at the age of sixteen, he regularly went to bible studies and church service in the state church. But he somehow couldn’t find his place there. “So I ended up in the pentecostal church of the town, which was a good church for a teenager, a very good place for me at that time. The pastor, the elders and youth-group were all so nice,” he says, adding that he got baptised there two years later.

Asked when he first knew or at suspected he was gay, Davíð says it hard to tell. “If I would have to give you an answer, then it would be around the age of eleven,” he finally says, after giving the question much thought. But it wasn’t untill seventeen years later he finally decided to come out. What made him hesitant was partly the fact that he had been bullied in school for being gay. “You see, it had been going on in school for as long as I could remember. And the perception I had of gay people was pretty negative. In my mind being gay was very wrong, a bad thing and I just didn’t want to face the facts.”

So Davíð got married to a girl he met at the pentecostal church in Akureyri and together they had three children. That and the negative image he had of gay people certainly didn’t make it any easier for him to come out. When it finally came to that point in his life, Davíð was 28 years old, had been divorced for three years and was living far from his parents and brother in the north. The turning point was when he started dating a girl and suddenly felt he couldn’t live with the lie anymore.
“I was of course really, really afraid of the idea of coming out,” he explains with a sad expression on his face. “I thought my life, you know my closest family, friends and church would all disappear.”
However in the end his ex-wife actually became the first person he decided to confide in about being gay. “Of course it was a big shock for her, we had known each other since we were teenagers and been married for five years,” he says a little bit anxious but adds with a smile: “But I would say that she took the news unbelievably well.” Davíð’s ex-wife even went as far as encouraging him to forget what the two of them had been tought about homosexuality in the past, referring to the teachings of the pentecostal church at Akureyri, saying it didn’t make any sense. That helped him somewhat.

His parents and brother were also supportive. “They had always suspected I was gay, I guess. My brother actually didn’t know that I was in the closet until I came home with a girlfriend,” he says, a little bit amused at the thought. “So it wasn’t a shock for them. They seemed relieved.”

The same could be said about Davíð’s three daughters who were only seven, five and four years old at the time. “It was a big surprise to me that they actually knew what it meant to be gay,” he says bewildered. “My oldest daughter is autistic and thought it was funny. The one in the middle, my little professor, didn’t think so, saying a lot of men and women were gay. She had a lot of questions about marriage and stuff like that and actually made it her mission to find a husband for me.” He laughs. “Personally I don’t remember knowing anything about gay people at their age, so all my answers were in the wind.”

But there were other complications. Not least the fact that after his divorce Davíð started attending ceremonies at The Cross (i. Krossinn), a congregation with roots in the Pentecostal church, which had been criticised for anti-gay stance. And to make things worse for him was the recent publication of an article claiming that hatred of gay people kept members of The Cross together. “The things being said in the article really upset me because no one at The Cross, neither Gunnar who was then pastor, nor his wife or the others had shown me any signs of hatred,” he says, still a bit upset. “When I shared my feelings about the article with friends at church they just told me to take notice of my own experience, thoughts and feelings instead of the papers.”

Here we actually have to interrupt David and ask if he honestly never got any cruel remarks about being gay at The Cross. He shakes his head. “Of course there was a time when there was a lot of prejudice there, but I was only met with kindness.”

Davíð admits he stopped going to church for a while after coming out. The congregation at The Cross was going through a difficult time, with a change of pastors. Besides that Davíð needed some time and space to find himself and so began going to meetings organized by a group of LGBT students called Q. “Which helped me to handle things,” he says in a confident manner, “and overcome my own prejudice, I guess.”
He also took time to ponder whether to return to The Cross or not, but in the end felt the need to go back. But it wasn’t easy. “For some reason that bad, old fear of being rejected crept back in and I became worried that the congregation would be prejudiced against me. Instead I found that the members were, just like me, changing their way of thinking. So there was absolutely no reason to feel that way. And instantly it felt like home again.”

In the past Davíð had felt guilty about his sexuality. But as he cames to terms with it he gradually started believing that he deserved to love and be loved. So some months after coming out he started living with a guy. “Sadly the relationship didn’t work out,” he says. “I guess things just moved to fast for me, him and my daughters. It was a shame because my middle child became close to him and even called him dad.”
Like most people Davíð still hopes to find true love, but says things tend to get a bit complicated once you are a gay, devout Christian. “First of all, most people know that I’m a Christian and we’re experiencing a time in Iceland when being one is not the most popular thing.”
But one of the biggest obstacles is his own fear. “I’ve seen relationships between Christians and atheists end badly,” he explains. “In the worst case scenarios atheists see the believers as brain-washed, naive or plain stupid and have a tendency to talk down to them. I don’t want be in a relationship without mutual respect. So I’m rather afraid of dating and relationships.”
However that doesn’t mean he’s not willing to take a chance. “The guy doesn’t have to be a devout Christian or a member of The Cross. Just as long as he can respect me for who I am then it might work out. But I’m not sure that’s possible. I imagine that the best kind of relationship is when you can share your whole life with your partner. Not just parts of it.”

In Davíð’s opinion the only real problem about being gay and a member of The Cross is actually the attitude he sometimes faces from people outside the church. “There have been occasions when people have actually showed up to try to safe me from the harmful cult I’m in,” he explains and laughs looking embarrassed at the thought. “But what people have to keep in mind is that after coming out I took time to come to terms with who I am, both as gay man and a christian. Being a christian is a big part of my life. Just like my sexual orientation is and I don’t feel the pressure to debate that. As I see it, I have the right to be both. My beliefs and sexual orientation are secured in the constitution of Iceland. So people just have to take me the way I am,” he says with a pride and adds that Christianity is not bound to a group or a church. “So I go to The Cross ’cause I feel good there.”
Most of the criticism he gets comes from gays. “I have been accused of trying to rewrite history or reducing the LGBT fight for human rights. Those kind of accusations sadden me even though I fully understand where that anger and those reactions come from. But my philosophy is to life not in the past but the now, where circumstances have changed for the better.” Thankfully he says his many friends gay, straight, believers and atheists, get that.

Currently Davíð works at a home for people with autism, attends school to become a social educator, works at the children ministry at church and has his three daughters, now aged eight, nine and eleven, to take care of every other week. He says parenting is the most meaningful, fun and difficult thing he has ever done.
“I became a father at the young age of 21 and had three kids in three years. Now I can’t imagine life without my daughters. Funny because I never pictured myself being a parent,” he says and smiles. “In my mind they are the three most smartest and most beautiful persons in the whole world. To hear them say: “Daddy I love you” is the most beautiful thing anybody has said to me. Thankfully I get to hear that quite often.”

He has a good relationship with his ex-wife and her husband and says that being a parent has strengthened the bond between him and his own parents, who make great grandparents. “But being a parent is of course not the only key to happiness,” he says with a touch of seriousness. “Happiness is of something everybody has to find for themselves.”
So life, he tells us, although not perfect in every sense, couldn’t be better. “The whole time, ever since I was a kid, I was afraid of coming out because of some kind of horrible reaction. But it never came,” he says with a big, warm smile. “In retrospect I must have been thinking like someone from the 20th century instead of the 21st. I was probably the only one who did.”

Photo: Davíð and his three daughters, from left: Danía Rut, Sara Ísold and Þórey Erla.

The Hamburger Factory
- gourmet burgers

Ok. You’re in Iceland. Most likely for the first time.

You will probably bathe in the Blue Lagoon and take a road trip to Gullfoss and
Geysir. That’s all well and good. But neither Geysir’s nor waterfalls are
something you eat. That’s why we have 15 brilliant and creative hamburgers at
The Hamburger Factory. And they are all perfectly square. Don’t miss out on
Iceland’s most beloved hamburgers.

The Hamburger Factory is Iceland’s most innovative gourmet burger chain.
Packed with burger-craving customers since it’s opening in 2010, among the
regulars is Iceland’s best known fisherman, Eric Clapton. In our restaurants we
welcome tourists with our newspaper like menu and smiley service. They are
packed with fun items and memorable connections to Icelandic pop culture.

Locations:

Omnom Chocolate
- award-winning chocolate maker

    Omnom Chocolate is an Icelandic craft chocolate company based in Reykjavík. We produce handcrafted chocolate from organic cacao beans sourced ethically and sustainably. We’ve developed direct relationships to create premium chocolate with fine flavor cacao beans.

    Our creative flavors are carefully crafted by meticulous chocolate makers. The cacao beans are roasted, winnowed, ground, and refined into melty-smooth chocolate.

    Omnom’s process is one of constant exploration, invention, and experimentation. If it doesn’t please us, if something isn’t absolutely delicious, there’s no reason to be doing it. So, we always start with our taste buds and follow our instincts. Our team searches for the finest ingredients in the world and new ways to improve chocolate. This obsession with knowing where our ingredients come from has led us around the corner to dairy farms in the Icelandic countryside and all the way to rainforest cacao farms of Nicaragua.

    In only a few short years, we’ve grown from our 50 sq. m. petrol station space and become an award-winning chocolate maker. Now, with our headquarters in 101 Reykjavík, our chocolate is sent out around Iceland and all over the world.

    At the end of the day, our goal is to make chocolate.

     

    Alfred’s Apartments
    - gay owned an operated

      Alfred’s Apartments and Alfred’s Studios is a gay operated and owned accommodation in the heart of Reykjavik.

      Alfred’s Apartments offers spacious apartments at a good price located just around the corner from Laugavegur shopping street. You can choose the apartment starting from a Small Studio for 2 persons to a large One-bedroom Apartment with balcony for 5 persons.

      Their staff will ensure your comfort during the stay and provide the most updated information about the city, gay and night life in Reykjavik.

      Each apartment has a private bathroom with a shower, fully equipped kitchen and free Wi-Fi. Guests can buy groceries at the local grocery store 50 meters from the apartments. Because of their very central location, numerous shops, restaurants and cafés are available in the surrounding area. The Church of Hallgrimur is located 350 m from the apartments, a tourist agency is just 50 m away and the nearest gay bar is less than 5 minutes walking distance.

      Laekur hostel
      In the hostel we have dorms for 4-8 persons with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. The rooms are furnished with free internet, lockers, and a USB charger by each bed. The beds have linen provided and you can rent a towel in the cafe on the ground floor for 5 EUR.

      All the dorms are mixed with both genders. You can also book a whole room with 4-8 bunker beds.

      Blue Lagoon
      - a world of wonder

      Named by National Geographic as one of the 25 Wonders of the World, the Blue Lagoon is a shimmering expanse of warmth, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Its unique geothermal seawater comes from 2000 meters within the earth where sea and fresh water converge in a tectonic frontier of porous lava and searing heat. Propelled by extreme pressure, the water ascends to the earth’s surface, emerging enriched with silica, algae, and minerals: the elements that endow Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater with its radiant, healing properties.

      From its humble beginnings in the shadows of a geothermal power plant, Blue Lagoon has evolved into a world of wonder, now encompassing a hotel, a restaurant, a luxury lounge, a renowned line of skin care, a research center, in-water massage, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

      Achieving harmony with the volcanic landscape of Iceland’s Reykjanes lava plain, the lagoon and its surrounding architecture embody the unification of the man-made and the natural, and adhere to the highest principles of sustainability.

      Blue Lagoon. A wonder of the world. A world of wonder.

      Whales of Iceland
      - larger than life

      Whales of Iceland is the largest whale exhibition in Europe (and perhaps even the world), where guests can learn about the giants of the sea in a calm and modern environment. The permanent exhibition features whales like guests have never seen them before. It is truly a giant experience.

      Landsbankinn
      - leading financial institution

      Landsbankinn is a leading Icelandic financial institution. It offers a full range of financial services and is the market leader in the Icelandic financial service sector with the largest branch network.

      The present bank was established on 7 October 2008 but the history of its predecessor dates back to 1886. The bank is owned by the National Treasury of Iceland, which holds 98.2% of its share capital, and other shareholders who own 1.8%.

      Landsbankinn’s strategy is to provide comprehensive financial services that meet customer’s needs. It emphasizes providing exemplary service to customers, developing e-banking for their convenience, increasing the efficiency of support functions, modernizing its technology and ensuring effective utilization of its balance sheet.

      The bank’s vision is to be exemplary and its role is to be a trusted financial partner.

      Special emphasis is placed on promoting a performance-oriented culture in the bank. To follow up on the implementation of this strategy, the bank has defined key goals which are measured regularly to determine progress. These goals include, for example, customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability, cost efficiency and the correlation between risk appetite and employee satisfaction.

      Landsbankinn wishes to lead the development of a sustainable society in Iceland by integrating economic, social and environmental concerns in its operations. The Bank aims to ensure that both its owners and society at large benefit from its activities.

      It intends to achieve this aim by building solid infrastructure and a strong team of 1.100 employees, by listening to its customers and by respecting and encouraging its employees to actively participate in their community. Landsbankinn was a founding member of Festa, a Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, and is a member of the UN Global Compact.

      Landsbankinn has been a proud sponsor of the Reykjavik Pride since it was first celebrated in Iceland.

      Dohop
      - get inspired

      Dohop allows people to find the cheapest flights available with just one click. Founded in Reykjavik in 2004, it is the only Icelandic company of its kind and quickly became the go-to tool for finding cheap flights among the locals. Dohop finds the best deals among hundreds of different airlines and online travel agencies, to make sure that the user is getting the cheapest price. Dohop also offers hotel and car rental search engines, so users can make all of their travel bookings from a single website.

      Dohop‘s specialty is finding so-called “self-connect” flight options, which can save travelers money by booking a ticket through two or more different airlines. The ability to look for these self-connect option is what sets Dohop apart from its competition, as it can save people hundreds of dollars on certain routes.

      More recently, Dohop has developed a unique product called Dohop Go!, which allows users to check for the cheapest available flights from their home airport. This tool is perfect for those who are looking for travel inspiration but are not willing to overpay for their flight ticket. Dohop Go! is now available in the Dohop Flights App, both for Android and iOS, along with its traditional flight, hotel, and car search engines. “

      Macland
      - for all your Apple needs

      From starting out as a proper startup with only a good idea and the need to change things, to becoming an established company with 6 employees. Starting from scratch and expanding organically has allowed us to love our expansion and take our customers on the ride with us.

      Macland is located at Laugavegur 23 (101, Downtown Reykjavik)
      For all your Apple needs. We are here.

      Aurora Reykjavik
      - northern lights center

        Aurora Reykjavik is a Northern Lights Center situated in downtown Reykjavík at the Old Harbor next to Icelandair Hotel Marina and Vikin Maritime Museum.

        Aurora Reykjavík is Iceland’s first educational and recreational Northern Lights Center where multimedia is used to explain when, why and how the Northern Lights work, with the highlights being large HD projection of the Aurora’s. We also share myths and legends about what our ancestor thought about those mystical lights.

        The Northern Lights Center is for all ages. Children are our favorite guests and we created the exhibition in a way that children can have a look freely and parents don’t have to worry about things being broken.

        Aurora Reykjavik offers a great selection of souvenirs that are designed and made by Icelanders along with nice little coffee corner, where you can enjoy free coffee and tea while browsing through the souvenirs or just planning your next step.

        Contact Aurora

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        Ísey skyr
        - once tasted never forgotten

        Our Story
        Once upon a time, 1,100 years ago in fact, Nordic settlers began arriving in Iceland. They brought with them the skills and knowledge for producing skyr. As time passed, the know-how and recipe for this nutritious food slowly faded out elsewhere in the Nordic region. Luckily, the Icelandic skyr-making tradition continued.

        For centuries, Icelandic skyr formed a cornerstone of the national diet, helping to keep people strong in living conditions that were often harsh. On family farms countrywide, it was the women who nurtured this dairy and passing on both the recipe and the original Icelandic skyr cultures from mother to daughter.

        Ísey skyr builds on this remarkable legacy. It was some of those very same women, the recipients of their mothers’ expertise, who, around 90 years ago, taught Icelandic dairy scientists the art of skyr-making. The production process is more high-tech these days, and the quality standards more rigorous. However, the basic recipe and the use of original cultures to ferment the skimmed milk remain the same. Protein rich, fat-free, creamy and delicious – Ísey skyr is as relevant to consumers now as it was all those centuries ago.
        This is our secret and you are in on it

        You can read more about Ísey skyr on our website.

        Núðluskálin
        - noodle bar

        Núðluskálin is a small gay owned and operated fusion noodle bar.

        All of our courses are individually made from fresh ingredients and therefore highly customisable.
        We offer fully Vegan versions of all courses.
        Though originally a take-away we now seat over 30 people.

        Núðluskálin is located right in the heart of Reykjavík on Skólavörðustígur 8 (street leading up to the big Church) near the junction with Laugavegur (main street).

        Seatours
        - adventure cruise

        Ferry Baldur – the gate to the West fjords
        and VikingSushi Adventure – Bird & Nature watching Tour for everyone all year around

        The “VikingSushi Adventure” is the right boat tour for travelers who are adventurous and want to experience something new – close up to the nature seafood simply doesn’t come fresher than this! The archipelago area of the Breidafjordur Bay always surprises her visitors during winter or summer with spectacular sights. Where else you get to try delicious fresh scallops and sea urchin roe straight from the ocean served with soy sauce, wasabi and ginger.

        600x400-seatours-tasting

        This old volcanic area, characterized by the typical basalt formations of the islands, is the home of countless birds. Here you will also find the strongest currents in Iceland. The VikingSushi Tour takes roughly two hours and our captain is also the tour guide.

        600x400-seatours

        The VikingSushi Tour is a true adventure through incredible nature which should not be missed by any traveler to West Iceland.

        Birds, possible to spot:
        -puffins (from the middle of April until the middle of August)
        -eider ducks
        -shags
        -kittiwakes
        -fulmars
        -white-tailed eagle

        The car ferry Baldur is the bridge to the West fjords via the island Flatey
        Ferry Baldur crosses Breidafjordur Bay daily from Stykkisholmur on the Snæfellsnes peninsula to Brjanslaekur in the north. A ferry ride considerably shortens the route between the south and mid-west of the country and the West Fjords region. It also gives you the opportunity to experience a floating restaurant.

        Take a stopover at the charming island Flatey when you are crossing the bay or go to a day tour to Flatey and back to Stykkishólmur. At Flatey are no cars allowed and between the houses of the 18th century you get the feeling of a journey back in time.

        Contact Us


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