Progress and setbacks

[dropcap size=small]W[/dropcap]ith the blink of an eye 2013 is over. Considered by many to be on of the most trying (or plainly boring) years in recent history, but we here at like to remember it for other things. Lets see what some of our hardworking journalists and columnists have to say about all the great and encouraging accomplishments which made up 2013, as well as the dispiriting setbacks, and what they look forward to in the next 12 months.

A blossoming community

My year has been very interesting in every way. From trying out some new work projects to travelling to places I’ve nevApriler been to before. It has also been my big year of introspection.

What I think has been most interesting though when it comes to the gay community in Iceland this year, is how much it’s growing and blossoming in every way. Coming out of the closet is constantly getting more “normal” and well greeted. Also people are getting more confident about themselves when it comes to coming out of the closet and I think it’s absolutely amazing.

What I mostly look forward now are the new adventures that await me. 2014 is probably the most unplanned year in a long time so I’m excited what it has to offer. This month I’ll move to Indonesia and continue my university studies. Other than that I’m excited to see what happens.

Apríl Smáradóttir.

The Russian Elephant

I like to make lists. They’re fun, easy to make and even easier to read. So here ElínEsthergoes.

My personal highlight of 2013:
Seeing my son turn 1-year-old, and being a part of his life. Yes … I’m that corny.

The positive results of the 2013:
Marriage equality is spreading across the globe, slowly but surely.

The short-lived happiness of 2013:
Same sex couples who got married in Australia, only to become “unmarried” in December.

The backward thinking of 2013:
Same sex marriages actually became illegal in Nigeria. Didn’t they get the memo?

“Nice guys” of the 2013:
Ugandan parliament approved the Anti-homosexuality bill. In its original form the bill made homosexuality punishable by death. When approved, the punishment had been dropped to life in prison. How thoughtful!

The giant-ill-tempered-out-of-control-elephant-in-the-room of 2013:
While Russia is preparing to host the 2014 Olympics, LGTB people in Russia are being oppressed and brutally violated against. Somehow, the rest of the world, including the International Olympic Committee and most financial backers of the game, has chosen to ignore this fact.
The weird part about this all? The sheer amount of photos of topless president Putin in circulation. One has to wonder …

The great expectation of 2014:
I hope to hear loud voices object to the idea it’s OK to have the Olympic Games in Russia. Further more, I hope more and more people realize this simple but powerful truth: Even if people are different from you, in any small or big way, it doesn’t mean you should build walls between you.

Be awesome – be yourself!
Happy new year!

Elín Esther Magnúsdóttir.

On the right side of history

The new year means a lot to me. You see I’ve developed this tradition of going over what I’ve learned from Helgi Omarssonthe past year, done right and wrong. If there are people the I’ve hurt I try to make things right or thank those who have done something for me. I try to come clean and happy into the new year and it’s a nice feeling.

Looking back over this year, the word that comes to mind is knowledge, well, more knowledge. I’ve learned so much. I fell deeper and deeper in love with my boyfriend. That alone teaches you so many things; to listen to your emotions and learn to listen and learn about someone else’s emotions with an incredible depth. Especially to experience that someone else’s happiness is also your own.

I’ve learnt so much about my inner emotions, to take control of my feelings, actions and my own destiny. That comes from experiencing being alone and not having constant traffic around. Knowing what to do with myself in situations like that is a big victory for me. So I’ve managed to fill this void within myself with things that really matter to me. Things that I simply didn’t know existed before.

I’ve also used my time to study other things, for example feminism and gay rights, which mean more to me than ever. Shocking news on the brutal crackdown on gay rights in Russia, Uganda and other places in the world really have cut a wound in my heart. I feel a need to do everything I possibly can do to make a difference. Quoting Michael Jackson, I started with the man in the mirror. It truly is the least I can do.

The spreading legalization of gay marriage made 2013 a great year. Hopefully countries that have allowed gay marriage will continue to inspire other countries to do so and open up people’s eyes around the globe. Supporters will be on the right side of history.

My expectations for this year are simple: be wiser, be better, do better, do more, learn more in all aspects, love more and give more. Take control of things I feel I don’t have enough control over. Continue to fight. In short: be the best I possibly can.

Helgi Ómarsson.

The meaning of equality

On a personal level the year 2013 was pretty good, especially the end of NovemberÍris Ellenberger when I finally finished my P.hD. But even though my head was buried in work throughout the year I could not help but notice the clouds looming over the queer front. Looking back it seems as if every week brought bad news from abroad and here in Iceland we saw the first signs of a backlash in 2013 after more than a decade of consistent gains for the queer rights movement.

Suddenly the pride parade came under attack from the cis straight audience. The reason: queers dared to be overtly political (and semi-nude, god forbid!) instead of purely entertaining. With the visit of the pastor Franklin Graham during the Festival of Hope we even witnessed the rhetoric that homophobia was simply an opinion that should be respected, not a damaging prejudice which severely affects a marginalized group.

In general, 2013 saw strong pushback from the previously “silent majority”, wanting to preserve its privileges. And their message, as Anna Pála Sverrisdóttir, the chair of the National Queer Association, describes it: “You have reached the limits we set for you. You are not allowed beyond this point.”

On the positive side more and more queer people are pointing out that true equality for sexual minorities is not solely based on legal rights but also on the dismantling of values and norms which prioritize cis gender identity and heterosexuality. And what I’m hoping to see in the year 2014 is further exploration of what equality means and how we can obtain it.

Íris Ellenberger.

Hollywood comes out

2013 – Memorable moments
Personally, giving birth… to a M.Sc. thesis. I’m still in recovery. Hopefully the stretch marks will disappear before Eurovision.

On gay isues what struck me this year was the plethora of celebrities coming out of the closet. It seemed like every month someone openly declared him/herself a member of the party of gay. Jodie Foster, Robin Roberts, Charice, Maria Bello, Frank Ocean (dibs), Jason Collins (dibs), Wentworth Miller (dibs!) and the list goes on. Their coming out also got different media treatment than past personal revelations. The news wasn’t splashed all over the front covers of weekly gossip magazines and there were no Barbara Walters sit downs to discuss said revelation. Each came out in their own way whether indirectly during an interview or through a quiet Facebook note. Times are changing in some parts of the world.

On the local front Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Iceland’s first female Prime Minister and the world’s first openly lesbian head of government, became a quite visible figure in the gay community in 2013. Jóhanna took part in the protest against the anti-gay propaganda law at the Russian Embassy in Iceland, she’s presenting at the WorldPride in 2014 and a book about her relationship with wife Jónína Leósdóttir was released. The book was written by Jónína herself. Powercouple indeed!

2014 – What to come
The summer of 2013 blew so hard closeted Republicans considered moving to Iceland (allegedly people) so lots of vitamin D for me por favor. Also, spending a good portion of my disposable income on joyous adventures and checking items off the bucket list. Lastly, now that Dustin Lance Black has a hot new beau, it’s time to release another video girl. Duh.

Regarding gay rights, more progress. Transgender rights legislation was passed in 2013. Hopefully more rights will come our way.

Þór Gunnólfsson.

Á. Óskarsson
Á. Óskarsson

Á. Óskarsson offers a variety of products and services to sports centers, swimming pools, schools, kindergartens, and the general public. The company specializes in sport-related products, activity-focused games, and a wide range of solutions for sports facilities.

Á. Óskarsson has been involved in numerous big projects related to building sports facilities and has made it their benchmark to offer good quality products and equipment since the company was founded.

See links to social media in the upper left-hand corner


Á. Óskarsson selur fjölbreytt vöruúrval fyrir íþróttahús, sundlaugar, skóla og leikskóla og einnig ýmsar vörur til einkaafnota. Fyrirtækið selur vörur til íþróttaiðkunnar og leikja ásamt því að bjóða upp á ýmsar lausnir fyrir íþróttamannvirki.

Á. Óskarsson hefur komið að fjölda stórra verkefna við byggingu íþróttamannvirkja og hefur frá stofnun kappkostað að bjóða vandaðar og endingargóðar vörur.

Tenglar á samfélagsmiðla eru í efra horninu vinstra megin.



    Blush was founded in 2011 when it started selling high quality sex products. The goal from the beginning was to change the market and take the discussion about sex products to a higher level. Today Blush provides professional services in a pleasant environment that fulfills different needs, both for individuals and couples. Blush respects diversity and wants to set a good example in all of its messaging to target audiences. Sexual health and equality in sex is important and Blush wants to focus on those issues through education and open discussion. Blush works in a socially responsible manner for society, their customers and the environment.

    Check out Blush’s website:

    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.




        Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) is a global technology company serving the capital markets and other industries. Our diverse offering of data, analytics, software and services enables clients to optimize and execute their business vision with confidence.

        With over 4,300 employees in 39 offices around the world, at Nasdaq we all contribute to the success of the company and its culture, and each one of us has the ability to make a difference. When it comes to our core mission and values, we embrace the role of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) as a fundamental driver of our corporate growth, workplace culture and market development. We strive to create a culture that embraces the power of different perspectives—a culture where people’s unique backgrounds and different experiences helps us fuel innovation and support our clients around the world.

        Our unique position at the center of the capital markets allows us to see firsthand how these values have redefined corporate culture and success, deepening and accelerating our own commitment to champion inclusive growth and prosperity, as we strive to create more equitable opportunities to help people of all backgrounds reach their full potential. Most notably, we published our diversity statistics for the first time in 2020. These metrics serve as a quantitative assessment of where we are today and help determine what strategies we need to adopt to enhance diversity in the workplace. We recognize that we have much work to do, but we are steadfast in our commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive culture—one that reflects the communities in which we live, allows all employees to be their true, authentic selves and fosters individual growth and achievement.

        As we move forward together, we will continue advancing diverse ideas and perspectives that help fulfill the promise of a more inclusive and prosperous world. We aim to set the pace for rethinking capital markets and economies anywhere and everywhere. To learn more about the company, technology solutions and career opportunities, visit us on LinkedIn, on Twitter @Nasdaq, or at

        Blue Lagoon
        - One of the 25 Wonders of the World

        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 2.000 meters within the earth where seawater and freshwater converge in a tectonic realm 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 two hotels, three restaurants, three
        geothermal lagoons, a subterranean spa, a renowned line of skin care, a thriving research center, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

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

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

        - 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.

        - 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. “

        VSÓ Ráðgjöf


          VSÓ Ráðgjöf er alhliða ráðgjafar- og verkfræðifyrirtæki sem leggur áherslu á trausta og faglega þjónustu sem tryggir viðskiptavinum hagkvæmustu lausnir hverju sinni, skilar raunverulegum árangri og stuðlar að samkeppnisforskoti.  Á skrifstofum VSÓ í Reykjavík og í Noregi starfar yfir 80 manna samhentur hópur verkfræðinga og annarra tæknimenntaðra starfsmanna.

          - 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.

          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.

          Contact Us

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