Important, insightful, inspiring, heartwarming, heartbreaking, shocking and even terrifying are all words that can be used to describe the stories, interviews and columns we brought our readers in the past twelve months.
Sadly there were accounts of queer bullying, domestic violence, injustice, deep-rooted prejudice, “stigmatizing” labels and discrimination with in the Icelandic health care system. But there were also plenty of “positive” stories this year, stories about festivals and celebrations and exciting new events, victories, breakthroughs, new medical possibilities for queer people, increased education on queer matters and heroic actions (for example this one, this one and of course this one – just to name a few). However they weren’t necessarily the most read stories.
Here are the ten articles you clicked on the most in 2015.
10. Erotic movie shot in Iceland
Feminist activist and awarded porn director Lola Clavo planned to shoot an erotic film in Iceland last summer and was on the look out for non-professional, queer performers.
Icelanders pride themselves in being “accepting” and “non-judgemental” and one of the leading countries when it comes to queer rights. Some even say that the “acceptance” in the society is so much that there is no more need for Reykjavík Pride. That the fight is over. But what does the queer community itself say. Is there still prejudice in Iceland? And how does it show itself?
8. Love yourself
In a sincere and heartwarming video on YouTube, Icelandic teen Vífill Harðarson encourages everyone to love and accept themselves whether they’ll come out of the closet or not, for that is the only way to go through life. Vífill decided to make the video after speaking to queer teens from all around the world and finding out how many suffer from low esteem.
7. Gay Muslims can marry
After the attack on the editorial office of Charlie Hebdo in Paris and the Copenhagen shootings this year Icelandic Muslims experienced growing prejudice. The then chair of the Association of Muslims in Iceland said in an interview with Gay Iceland that he was tired of generalisations being made about Muslims, such as that all Muslims are homophobic, which he claimed to be absolutely false. In fact, if asked, he would assist gay Muslim couples to marry.
6. Local boys open up
A new gay erotic magazine, Elska, hit stores in September. It’s Icelandic title caught our attention and so we interviewed the editor, Londoner Liam Campbell, about the British magazine and his passion for Iceland.
5. For the settlement queens
Pop singer Páll Óskar “sailed” a twelve meter long pink Viking ship at this year’s Reykjavík Pride parade. The idea he said was to bring attention and pay respect to all the queens who have been silenced throughout the centuries in Iceland, ever since settlement.
4. Elska shot in Iceland
Photographers from the gay male erotic magazine Elska came to the country in November to shoot pictures for an issue dedicated to the men of Iceland. The editor said it was a pleasure to work with Icelanders, who were both open-minded and ready to go great lengths to get the job done.
3. Singer Eivør Pálsdóttir: Ignore Jenis av Rana
In July this year Jenis av Rana, a member of Parliament and leader of the Faroese fundamentalist Christian political party, Midflokkurinn, demanded that the Pride festivals, which were to be held two days before Ólafsvaka (the islands’ national holiday at the end of July) be banned. The Faroese singer and songwriter Eivør Pálsdóttir stepped forward, calling Jenis a narrow-minded man who should be ignored.
2. Viking weddings popular
Ever since Iceland legalized same-sex marriage in 2010 the country has been a popular destination for same-sex weddings and now it seems more and more travelers are opting to get married here in the Old Norse way. Humanist weddings have become equally popular.
1. “Your girlfriend was never a boy…”
How do your genitals work after surgery? How do you have sex? Why didn’t you just be gay? Organization Trans-Iceland made a video, in cooperation with the anonymous curious public, where trans people answer questions which they usually hate being asked.