GayIceland’s story on “the gender neutral primary school” has gotten an overall positive response, not only in Iceland but also worldwide. However there are those who seem to be morally offended, shocked, angered, outraged and quite “outspoken” after hearing the news and some even think that the school officials should be scolded for their actions.

Of course it wouldn’t be the first time Iceland’s moral crusaders grab the torches and pitchforks. Kristín Eva Þórhallsdóttir and Roald Eyvindsson took a look at 10 examples of moral outrage in Icelandic history, that are so ludicrous that it’s hard to believe they ever happened.

 


 

GET OUT

Hörður Torfason, musician and founder of Samtökin ‘78. He didn’t return to Iceland for a decade after fleeing the country. However, in the end it was one of the things that caved the path for others to come out.
Hörður Torfason, musician and founder of Samtökin ‘78, didn’t return to Iceland for a decade after fleeing the country. In the end however, the interview with him was one of the things that helped others  come out.

Musician and queer rights activist Hörður Torfason was one of the first openly gay men in Iceland.

He came out in a magazine interview in 1975 that was at the time considered to be so controversial and so scandalous that the respected newspaper “Morgunblaðið” (e. The Morning-paper) didn’t dare publish it. Instead it was published in a liberal glossy magazine called Samúel.

In it Hörður, who was already a well known figure in the Icelandic community, talks openly about being with men and is asked by the reporter if he became gay because he had had enough of women (!).

The nation was shocked by the interview and Hörður had to flee the country to Danmark after receiving several death threats.

 


 

BE WARNED

In February 2014 Egill Helgason, the host of the literature TV program Kiljan, was concerned that readers of the book “Monestone – The Boy Who Never Was” (i. Mánasteinn – Drengurinn sem aldrei var til) would be shocked by the descriptive sex scenes in the book.

The author Sjón, who received the Icelandic national book awards for the book, responded by saying said that people admitted that they were startled by how thoroughly he describes gay sex between the story’s protagonist, a 16-year-old boy and his customer on the first three pages of the book.

Story: The book follows Moonstone, who lives in Reykjavík in the very dramatic year of 1918. He’s poor, he’s gay, he is absolutely fascinated by movies and to top it all off he sells him self to strangers – male strangers – to be able to afford seeing every film that comes to town.

 


 

KEEP YOUR DISTANCE

Around the time Samtökin ‘78 (the national queer organization) were founded in the late seventies, many people where simply outraged in Iceland.

Newspaper Vísir asked pedestrians what their thoughts where on the matter and some confessed that they didn’t like the idea of an organisation for sodomites; in fact they felt it was plain wrong.

Others were less concerned. An “office girl” in her twenties for example said that she didn’t have anything against the organization as long as they kept a low profile.

“Or else homosexuality could possible end up becoming fashionable,” she pointed out, “just like blue jeans!”

 


 

PROTECT THE CHILDREN

In April last year when the town officials of Hafnarfjörður signed a contract with Samtökin ‘78 to educate schoolchildren on queer issues, all hell broke loose.

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One lady became furious when she heard about the contract: “I’ve seen how these lesbians go about and you could almost vomit,” she said on Útvarp Saga. “It’s just porn! I think it’s disgusting!” Photo/courtesy of Nútíminn.

Icelandic folk musician Gylfi Ægisson accused the town of crushing children’s souls, ruining their childhood!

Listeners of local radio station “Útvarp Saga” (e. Radio Saga) called in to express their outrage. Some demanded to know just how exactly Samtökin intended to teach the innocent children, whether they were going to have sex in front of them in the class room or what!

Others saw it as a deviant way to convert, recruit, and even seduce schoolchildren into “the homosexual lifestyle” and a Facebook-group called “Protect the children” (i. Barnaskjól) was founded by Gylfi.

 


 

STAY AWAY

The same Gylfi Ægisson has also repeatedly spoken out against the Reykjavík Pride parade, accusing the organisers of corrupting the youth!

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Every year about one-third of the Icelandic nation shows up for the Reykjavík Pride Parade.

In September 2013 Gylfi filed charges against the organizers, citing Article 93 of the ChildProtection Law, which states that concerts and festivals of a sexual nature must prohibit children under the age of 18 from being present.

Gylfi made claims that not only had little children heard dirty remarks made during the parade, but that parents had also seen penis shaped lollipops being passed around!

Later it turned out that the lollies were shaped like pacifiers and Gylfi admitted that he hadn’t actually been to the parade himself. But, he still wouldn’t withdraw the charges as there was just too much at stake!

However, in the end the police refused to investigate the charges, saying that they had no merit.

 


 

WATCH OUT – ITS CONTAGIOUS!

Amrican soldiers were to blame for the gay germ that was spreading and spreading fast in Iceland in the fifties.
American soldiers were to blame for the gay germ that was spreading and spreading fast in Iceland in the fifties, according to the Icelandic paper Mánudagsblaðið.

In the fifties moral crusaders began expressing their concerns that Icelanders were showing serious signs of moral decline, and so local papers started printing startling stories on drug abuse, swinging, homosexuality and general debauchery.

In 1952 “Tíminn” (e. Time) for example published a shocking account of an Icelandic bugger who had been caught in bed with a “negro”(!).

In 1955 the “Mánudagsblaðið” (e. The Monday-paper) published an article with the headline “Is buggery on the uprise in Iceland?”, where the author claimed that incidents of homosexuality had increased so much in only 15 years, that there was clearly some kind of “gay germ” going around – most likely brought to the country by Amercian soldiers!

For the next decades papers kept printing articles in the same style, some of which relied on fear-mongering; The Monday-paper even went as far as urging the public to do something to prevent the uprise of homosexuals who seemed to be lurking everywhere, just waiting to pray on the young!

Extra: Take a look at this so-called educational film on homosexuality, made in the Unite States in the late sixties.


 

CLOSE YOUR EYES

Before Páll Óskar became Iceland’s most beloved pop star, decent and respectable Icelanders were time and time again shocked by his “scandalous” behaviour.

There were his radio shows Sætt & Sóðalegt (e. Sweet & Dirty) and Dr. Love, which people couldn’t stop complaining and gushing about because of the radio host’s unfiltered talk on sex – even though they wouldn’t admit actually listening to them.

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An album with a shocking title.

Then there was his album with the shocking title – “Deep Inside” – and equally shocking cover, depicting the star dressed in purple spangled shorts!

But shock wise nothing, nothing came close to Páll Óskar’s performance in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1997During the “outrageous” performance BBC’s commentator Terry Wogan said that Eurovision would never be the same again and he hoped Páll Óskars’s mother wasn’t watching!

And what exactly was it that shocked – not only Icelanders – but the whole of Europe?

Páll Óskar in black leather pants singing “My Last Dance” (i. Minn hinsti dans), backed by four latex-clad girls “provocatively frolicking” on a white leather sofa. A performance still listed as one of the most controversial Eurovision acts ever (!).



PROTECT YOURSELF

In October last year blogger Jón Valur Jensson took it upon himself to warn the nation against having to much anal sex.

A genealogy buff, a fan of christian political agenda, a true patriot and as it also turns out a little bit of an expert on the rectum, Jón Valur points out that anal intercourse – commonly practised by gay and bisexual men – is not only anatomically incorrect. It is also very damaging to ones health. And quite possibly life threatening!

Photo: A dilated rectum (that could well force people into wearing adult diapers) is only one of many risks they should take into consideration before indulging in anal sex, Jón Valur warns his readers and cites several studies on the matter. 


 

SHUT YOUR MOUTH

When talks of legalizing same-sex marriage started in Iceland in the nineties many people felt the need to express their distaste.

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Infuriated by talks of marriage equality in Iceland a respectable housewife had enough and decided to express her outrage in the media.

One of them was the former bishop of Iceland, Karl Sigurbjörnsson, who crusaded against marriage equality, saying:

„I think we owe it to marriage that we at least do not throw it to the garbage dump without consideration.“

Another was a respectable housewife who in an open letter to newspaper Morgunblaðið (published July 24th 1997) asked gay people to keep their private life private and stop with the crazy demands.

She described being gay as a disability that some people had the misfortune to be born with. And just like other minority groups with disabilities gay people should keep to themselves and life quietly and by all means not bother priests or congress with their sex life.

She ended her letter in these words: “Stop this nonsense and just have sex with whoever you chose but keep quiet about it!”


COVER YOUR EARS

For years gay men and lesbians were those-who-must-not-be-named on air at RÚV (The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service) – a little bit like Voldemort in the magical community in the Harry Potter Books.

RÚV was not alone in banning the words "lesbía" and "hommi". Other Icelandic media companies, such as DV, did the same. However they saw nothing wrong with using the good old Icelandic word "kynvillingur" - which is comparable to the words bugger or sodomite.
RÚV was not alone in banning the words “lesbía” and “hommi”. Other Icelandic media companies, such as DV, did the same. However they saw nothing wrong with using the good old Icelandic word “kynvillingur” – which is comparable to the words bugger or sodomite.

The words they had chosen to define themselves with, “hommi” (e. gay man) and “lesbía” (e. lesbian) were adapted from English and didn’t comply with the strict language rules RÚV followed.

At least that was the main excuse, until the director of RÚV turned it into a matter of propriety in a formal letter he wrote to Samtökin ‘78 in 1985 where he asked the organization to rephrase one of its ads by removing the plural “hommar” and “lesbíur”.

He explained that by law any words that were a breach of propriety were forbidden from the air, and since the words hommi and lesbía clearly surpassed all boundaries of decency, they had to be rejected. Of course Samtökin were free to advertise their meetings, he continued, just not by directly addressing those they were intended for.

Times have certainly changed, and earlier this year RÚV aired an episode of children show "Stundin okkar" (e. Our hour) where singer Páll Óskar addressed gay issues in a simple manner by saying: “you can’t decide how your heart beats. It just beats.”
Times have changed, and earlier this year RÚV aired an episode of the children show “Stundin okkar” where singer Páll Óskar addressed gay issues in a simple manner by saying: “you can’t decide how your heart beats. It just beats.”

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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