Come on kids, let’s all join hands and be gay!

They say that the Great Wall of China is the only man-made object visible from the Moon. I’ll tell you below how this is related to the ongoing movement to protest against education on queer issues in Icelandic schools.

It started out as a simple and beautiful step of progress, made by the Samtökin ‚78, The National Queer Organization, and the local government of Hafnarfjörður, a town on the outskirts of Iceland‘s capital Reykjavik.

The plan was to add queer issues to the curriculum to educate the young people of the town, abolish prejudice and help those in need to come to terms with themselves.

Why? Because even though Iceland may score high in most tolerance surveys, queerophobia still exists and creates social separation and anxiety and, in the worst cases, drives people to take their own lives.

Naturally, one would then think this kind of forward-thinking would be celebrated amongst the “cool and hip” Icelanders, and it appears that it did just so, except … not by everyone.

Protect the children!

Not long after the news had gone public a Facebook group was formed, called “Verndum börnin” (Protect the children). The purpose was to object to queer education in Hafnarfjörður, as it would “clearly” aim to recruit innocent youths to army of gays, permanently scar children with graphic images of non-heterosexual sex and give child abusers full access to every child in said schools.

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People who fill the Internet with their thought and comments are somewhat of a, eh, “mixed group”.

Or that‘s what some of the founders and followers of the group say, anyway.

I will not go into who created the group, or who have been supporting it, as that is not the main issue. The main issue is that in 2015 there are still groups of people trying to oppress other groups of people, based only on ignorance.

The problem with everyone having a voice is that if they choose to use that voice, they can no longer seem smart by keeping quiet. The creators of the Internet were clearly geniuses. The people who fill it with their thoughts and comments … well, let’s just say it’s a mixed group (said the woman, posting her thoughts on the Internet, wink wink!).

We want you as a new recruit!

Here’s what it boils down to: In reality, the education on queer issues can be described something like this: Explaining to students that however they were born is completely natural, and that they should respect that other people may be slightly different and have slightly different preferences then they. In short, everyone is fine, just the way they are.

What the “Protect the children” followers are claiming will happen is more like this: Gangs of queer people will use persuasion (and/or hypnotism) to get young kids to give queer sex a go. Preferably on the spot. With them. They often call this “gay recruiting” and it‘s completely beyond me how they can play that scene through in their minds, without seeing the faults of the theory.

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Followers of “Protect the children” seem to believe gangs of queer people will hypnotize innocent kids to have sex with them.

And you want to know what amazes me even more? Every time a queerophobe gets to think about queer people, they jump straight to sex. And not just any, everyday, good-ol’ love-making. Oh, no! It’s straight to some hardcore, violent, out of this world, leather-clad, stripper-heeled, perverted imagery. Interestingly made up by their own imagination, although maybe with a little help from an old hetero porno they saw as children.

Why?

When queer people meet “straight” people, they don’t go directly to: “Oh, my god! You must really like having someone put something of his body into your body and then go on and on until you’re both blue in the face! Gross!”

99 times out of a 100, they simply don’t give it a second thought. Of course not! Because sexual orientation isn’t about what kind of nasty sex you prefer, if at all. It‘s about who you want to spend your life with. Make memories with, start a family with, watch a movie with, eat ice-cream with, do the dishes with. It’s about who you want by your side to enrich both of your lives.

And teaching young people that it doesn’t matter if that person is different from you, or the same as you, is not a bad thing. If you think that – I hope you’re not a parent.

The wall that can or can not be seen

So, back to the Great Wall of China. The claim that is the only man-made object visible from the Moon dates back all the way to the year 1754. Yes, that‘s right – 207 years before Yuri Gagarin was the first human to actually get into space. It seems the statement was little more than a presumption, a close relative of prejudice.

Today we know that the Great Wall of China is NOT visible with the naked eye from the moon. Not even from the low Earth orbit, where the International Space Station hangs in the air, unless the conditions are perfect and you use a zoom lens. In fact, your vision would need to be seventeen thousand times better than it is, to see the wall from the Moon.

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No you can not see the Great Wall of China from the Moon. Seriously, it’s just a myth.

When this became known, a lot of geography books (including the Chinese ones) needed to be changed. Just like Aristotle’s claim that women had fewer teeth than men, this myth could be debunked by acquiring knowledge. (One might think Aristotle had a lot easier job checking teeth then it is to send people to the Moon, but he didn’t bother to, none the less.)

You see, just claiming something is so and so, doesn’t make it true. No matter how often you tell a lie (or a misconception), it doesn’t get any more true or right. You may get people to believe it in the end … but it still doesn‘t change the fact that it’s utter bullshit, made up by people who thought the world would adjust to their own whimsical ideas.

No – the Great Wall of China is not visible from the Moon.

No – women do not have fewer teeth than men.

No – there will be no orgy-lecturing, sex-propaganda or gay-recruiting in Hafnarfjörður.
(If I hadn’t been raised by good people, I would now add: “So shut up and stop being so goddamn stupid!” … but I was, so I won’t.)

Real protection

Back to the issue at hand. The interesting turn of events is that those in favor of the new education program have started to use the name of the queerophobic group as a hashtag to support the project. Search for “#verndumbörnin” and “#hinseginleikinn” (“protect the children” and “being queer”) and you’ll find dozens and dozens of tweets and posts, stating that the only thing children need to be protected from is prejudice and intolerance.

I realise that we will not eliminate queerophobia in my lifetime. But I welcome every step taken in that direction. Being a queer child or teenager is not easy, and I can think of nothing more helpful than for someone to come along and say: “You know what, you’re not the only one. There are people like you and many of them are doing just fine.”

And obviously the last thing a struggling teen needs is to hear that they have been damaged, they are unnatural or broken. We all just want to fit in and be happy. Not to run around and “tag” others to join the queer club.

And now what?

I don’t think I need to worry too much about how this thing plays out. The voices of prejudice are outnumbered by voices from all walks of life, saying the same thing: “Stop being silly and get on the acceptance-train with us!”

What I worry about is that we may need to step up our game. One town is a good start, and so is teaching about one minority. But queers aren’t the only ones in Iceland, and certainly not in the world, to suffer from prejudice and discrimination.

Why not make it a part of our educational system to get to know more about people of different religion? Or people with disabilities? Or people from other countries? Or gender equality? Or poverty?

Why not have it as a part of our school system to end prejudice and discrimination against … all other people? I know for a fact that if 10 year olds ruled the world – there would be no wars. There would be no poverty or discrimination. They don‘t see the point in it. They are willing to accept that we are all equal.

Why on earth are some people not willing to teach it?

Why not have it as a part of our school system to end prejudice and discrimination against ... all other people?
Why not put an end to prejudice and discrimination against all people?

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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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          Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.