I just really, really wanted to be ‘normal’

Ragnar Birkir is a single parent of three girls, living in Innri-Njarðvík and working at the local primary school and as a Herbalife distributor. At night he sometimes transforms into the drag queen Ina Vagina and performs with Drag-Súgur.

Ragnar Birkir, one of the stars of drag cabaret Drag-Súgur, has gone through a lot, but says that he’s finally come to terms with who he is and that he just couldn’t be happier.

He was seventeen when he first came out as gay but a few years later he had become a member of the Christian denomination Krossinn (e. The Cross), married and a father. Four years ago, after getting a divorce, he came out as gay again and he says the gay scene in Iceland has changed enormously in the twenty years since he first came out.

Ragnar told GayIceland the unusual story of his journey through bullying to coming out, retreating into the closet again and finding the family he‘d always dreamt of in Krossinn, the dissolution of that dream and the return to the gay scene.

“I was born in Keflavík but after my parents got divorced my mother started living with another guy and we moved to the Westman Islands. It was hard. I was the new kid in town and when I was eight years old the kids at school started bullying me for being gay.

I hardly knew what that meant, but it was obviously something ugly and horrible and I felt ashamed, even though I didn‘t know what I should be ashamed for.

The bullying continued til I left the island and moved to Keflavík at seventeen. There I came out of the closet and three years later I moved to Reykjavík.”

“You were urged to become “your true self”, as they called it, which meant that homosexuality was not your true identity; you were just delusional. I was not happy being a gay person and I bought into this way of thinking.”

Ragnar did not feel happy even though he had come out. He had a lot of baggage and to make matters worse his older brother did not agree to his coming out. In his eyes that meant that the bullies had been right and that Ragnar was giving in to them.

“I was very lost and lonely,” Ragnar admits. “And getting my brother up against me was not helping. So I started going to meetings at Krossinn with a girl I was working with and in a way it felt like coming home. You were welcomed as a member of this big family and everyone was supportive.”

Ragnar sought solace in Krossinn (e. The Cross), a Christian denomination, where he really tried to fit in and be like the others.

It did not take long for Ragnar to get back into the closet after starting going to Krossinn. Asked if there was a systematic program there to try to change people’s sexual orientation he says that, no, there was no such program but it was obvious that homosexuality was not looked upon favourably.

“You were urged to become “your true self”, as they called it, which meant that homosexuality was not your true identity; you were just delusional. I was not happy being a gay person and I bought into this way of thinking, married a girl in Krossinn and tried to be “normal”. I really, really wanted to fit in and be like the others. This seemed like the right way to do that.”

The marriage was a rocky one and after the divorce Ragnar and his wife got into a custody battle which he won. He does not want to go into any details regarding the marriage, just points out that obviously it could never have worked as he does not consider himself bisexual, he is one hundred percent gay.

“I was just so lost. My mother died when I was nineteen; my older brother made me go to a psychologist to get help with stopping being gay; I had all these years of harsh bullying to work through and all I really wanted was to find some peace, whatever the cost. But now I know that I‘m gay, there is absolutely no question about that.”

Breaking down the walls

Coming back out was not an easy task. The gay scene has changed enormously and Ragnar says that he was really scared at the start. “This June it will be four years since I came back out as gay. The scene has certainly changed, but I think maybe the biggest change lies in the way I look at my self as a gay person.

In 2013, a year after Ragnar came out again, he marched in The Reykjavík Pride Parade. "I was afraid to do it the year before," he recalls. On the right: Ragnar marching with his two older girls in the parade in 2015.
Ragnar marching with his two older girls, Atalía Von (7) and Sefanía Rut (5), in the Reykjavík Pride Parade in 2015. Two years before he marched for the first time after coming out again. “I was afraid to do it the year before,” he recalls. Missing from the picture is Ragnar’s youngest daughter, Adríana Bjarkey, aged 4.

When I was seventeen I only looked at the darker sides of being gay; not being able to have a family, not being normal, having to be active in the drinking and dancing scene to have a chance of meeting someone to love etc. I did not experience the gay lifestyle as being normal.

Today that has changed. Some even say that the normalisation has gone to far, that it has made gay people less visible and weakened the solidarity in the gay community. Now the communication is mostly limited to dating sites, there is no real gay scene in Iceland, no place you can go to meet other gays.

That is not necessarily a positive evolution. It‘s great in many ways, but at the same time it has made the gays less visible in the community. And I think that part of the prejudices against gay people lies within the gay community itself. There is this notion that you are supposed to be a real straight acting man even if you are gay and femmes like me are frowned upon in some circles within the gay community.

“There is this notion that you are supposed to be a real straight acting man even if you are gay and femmes like me are frowned upon in some circles … To me that looks like hating yourself for being gay …”

To me that looks like hating yourself for being gay and I‘ve spent years fighting that hatred in myself so I‘m not prepared to start acting straight again just to please some other gays out there.

It was really hard for me to start performing in drag again, but that‘s part of who I am and it is a necessary part of breaking down the walls I have built around myself as a gay person. That is what I am doing now; breaking down more and more of these walls.”

A fulfilling life

Since coming back out four years ago Ragnar has been in two short relationships, but they did not work out and obviously he sets high standards being a father of three. Laughingly he explains that some people have a hard time seeing gays as committed fathers.

“Some people get very confused when I say that I have three daughters who are living with me. It‘s like they think I bought them from some catalogue. And of course it is an obstacle for some men in dating me.

 “That is what I am doing now; breaking down more and more of these walls.”
“That is what I am doing now; breaking down more and more of these walls.” Photo: Liam Campbell/Elska Magazine.

One of the guys I was in a relationship with made it very clear that he did not want children, so there was no point in keeping that relationship going.

I would never ever abandon my daughters for some guy. They are absolutely the best thing in my life. But of course I want to find love, don‘t we all?

“My life is very fulfilling as it is and I‘m positive that when the time is right I will find the right man.”

My girls are always asking me when I‘m gonna get a boyfriend, but I‘m in no hurry. My life is very fulfilling as it is and I‘m positive that when the time is right I will find the right man. I‘m just not willing to start putting on some playacting to find that love.

I‘ve spent years coming to terms with the fact that the normal version of me is the guy I am today; a gay single parent who is at ease with the fact that he is feminine in many ways but still one hundred percent male and that is exactly who I am meant to be.”

Taking the stage as Ina Vagina (in the middle) alongside fellow performers of the drag-cabaret Drag-Súgur, that has become a hit.
Ragnar taking the stage as glamourus  drag queen Ina Vagina (in the middle) alongside comedian Jonathan Duffy and fellow performers of the highly entertaining drag-cabaret Drag-Súgur. The group will be performinng at Gaukurinn tonight at 21PM. More info here.

Main photo: Liam Campbell/Elska Magazine.

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: https://blush.is/

    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 www.nasdaq.com.

        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

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