GayIceland brings you the latest news and stories from the queer community in Iceland. We’re proud and happy to be backed by companies, organisations and wonderful people who believe that queer rights matter. Here is what they have to say.
“We’re simply opposed to discrimination. In our eyes everyone is equal whether they are queer or not and the fight for LGBTI+ rights in Iceland is a worthy cause, which aims to eliminate prejudice,” says Jenný Maggý Rúriksdóttir, marketing manager of Íshestar, when asked about the company’s stance when it comes to queer rights.
“… the fight for LGBTI+ rights in Iceland is a worthy cause.”
Íshestar is a riding tour operator who has been offering horseback riding tours in Iceland for more than 30 years.
The company is also a sponsor of GayIceland. “By supporting GayIceland we want to show the LGBTI+ community how important we think it is to advocate for human rights and that LGBTI+ people are welcome to travel around Iceland and of course welcome to ride with us,” says Jenný and adds that it doesn’t hurt that GayIceland is a fun and vibrant website.
“Núðluskálin is a gay owned and operated restaurant so the fight for LGBTI+ rights in Iceland is our rights struggle,” says Sigurður Jónas Eysteinsson who alongside his husband Kristján Jörgen Hannesson, owns and runs Núðluskálin.
“… the fight for LGBTI+ rights in Iceland is our rights struggle.”
Núðluskálin is a fushion noodle bar in the heart of Reykjavík.
Sigurður says that because of his and his husband’s stance on queer rights it’s their pleasure and duty to support a queer owned and operated media like GayIceland.
Seatours is a long-established tourist company located in the picturesque coastal town of Stykkisholmur. Marketing manager Nadine Walters is very clear when asked why Seatours backs the Icelandic LGBTI+ community in it’s fight for equal rights.
“… we think that everyone should be equal.“
“Because we think that everyone should be equal,” she simply answers and adds that a website like GayIceland is a good platform for the company to advertise and reach out to the LGBTI+ community.
Landsbankinn celebrates diversity in society and wants to contribute to the LGBTI+ community’s fight for equal rights. “Landsbankinn has been a proud sponsor of Reykjavík Pride for years and this year will be no different,” says Rún Ingvarsdóttir, specialist at Landsbankinn, a bank headquartered in Reykjavík. “In addition to supporting the festival with funding, Landsbankinn has distributed the festival’s flyer in all its branches in order to promote the festival even better throughout the country. A week before the festival begins employees of the bank show their support by wearing rainbow-colored bands (holding staff cards) around their necks.”
“Landsbankinn has been a proud sponsor of Reykjavík Pride for years and this year will be no different.”
Rún says that Landsbankinn fully supports the LGBTI+ community’s fight for equal rights in Iceland. “The bank sponsors GayIceland because it’s an ambitious and vibrant platform for discussions about the queer community and culture in Iceland,“ she points out. “It’s also important for all the tourists traveling to Iceland.”
Whales of Iceland
Whales of Iceland, with its life-sized models, an interactive installation and virtual reality experience, is the largest whales exhibition of its kind in the world. Marinó Muggur Þorbjarnarson, who oversees education and marketing, says that openly supporting queer rights is important to the company. “Icelanders are very proud of the freedom in Iceland and how far human rights have come here. The freedom of love is highly valued in our country. So you could say that Iceland is a beam of light when it comes to the LGBTI+ community’s struggle for human rights.”
“Icelanders are very proud of the freedom in Iceland and how far human rights have come here. The freedom of love is highly valued in our country.”
He goes on: “Whales of Iceland is a large travel company and regards itself in a way as an ambassador of the Icelandic culture and society. We respect the rights of LGBTI+ people and it is our pleasure to support a media like GayIceland that mediates their struggle to visitors coming to the country.”
“We are a company that doesn’t want to see any discrimination in any field. We are all here on this planet and differentiation is our main problem. Diversity is the most beautiful thing about our species, and we should celebrate that, not hinder or suppress. As singer Páll Óskar put it perhaps best: “Out with hate and in with love (must sing this to get the right feel to it)”,” says Hörður Ágústsson, owner of the innovative and “humane” computer store Macland.
“Out with hate and in with the love.”
Hörður doesn’t hesitate to speak his mind when it comes to Macland’s support for GayIceland. “Macland is a service company founded on the basis that all our customers are equal and should receive the same quality service. Gayiceland.is an excellent enterprise run by individuals who have had to fight for their rights from birth and we want to lend our support as much as we can. We who are born into privilege (a white male in Iceland is in that position) as I am, need to go ahead and join the fight. Anything else is not an option.”
Tommi’s Burger Joint
The international restaurant chain Tommi’s Burger Joint is the creation of Icelandic entrepreneur Tómas Tómasson.
Tómas, or Tommi, is a legend with in the Icelandic restaurant industry and known as the guy who brought hamburgers to Iceland. And he’s certainly not afraid to speak his mind about discrimination. “It is ludicrous to discriminate against LGBTI+ people! People should be allowed to be exactly who they are!”
“It is ludicrous to discriminate against LGBTI+ people!”
Having ties to the LGBTI+ community in Iceland, Tómas says he wants to show his support to the community. “I want to support the cause and show solidarity in action,” he says, referring Tommi’s Burger Joint support of GayIceland.
The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most popular attractions and a sponsor of GayIceland. Atli Sigurður Kristjánsson, a project manager of the marketing department at the Blue Lagoon, says the company wants to contribute to human rights. “We wholeheartedly support human rights and think that a diverse society makes our society both richer and more beautiful. GayIceland.is is a high quality website, and important one, and we congratulate those who are behind it.”
“We support human rights and think a diverse society makes our society both richer and more beautiful.”
Dohop is a free and independent travel search engine, which finds the cheapest flights, cars and hotels. Davíð Gunnarsson, Dohop CEO, is very clear on why the company supports queer rights. “We believe that everyone should live their life exactly as they want. It’s as simple as that.”
“We believe that everyone should live their life exactly as they want.“
Dohop is a sponsor of GayIceland and Davíð says it’s because the company simply wants people who are interested in visiting Iceland to have access to information that is useful to them.
“The material on GayIceland.is a great help to those who are LGBTI+ and are interested in visiting Iceland.”
Mjólkursamsalan (MS Iceland Dairies) is a cooperative organisation that includes over 700 of Iceland’s family-run dairy farms and other milk producers across the country. Gréta Björg Jakobsdóttir, who is part of the marketing team, says that MS focuses on equality and supports various matters related to it, including LGBTI+ issues. “Our Human resource is the most important resource and Mjólkursamsalan’s policy is that their employees are not discriminated against because of gender, sexual orientation, religion or other factors.”
“Supporting GayIceland is part of our social responsibility … “
Gréta adds that Mjólkursamsalan has for many years focused on supporting community projects. “Supporting GayIceland is part of our social responsibility which we take great pride in. Among other projects we are proudly funding are the promotion the Icelandic language, entrepreneurship of various types and support for numerous charities and sports.”
Icelandic Mountain Guides
Icelandic Mountain Guides is Iceland’s premier adventure tour operator. Director of marketing Arnar Már Ólafsson says there is no doubt when it comes to the company’s stance on queer rights.
“We support the rights of LGBTI+ people in Iceland. The issue revolves around fundamental human rights.”
“The issue revolves around fundamental human rights.“
One way of ways Icelandic Mountain Guides shows their support to the LGBTI+ cause is by sponsoring GayIceland.
“LGBTI+ people are obviously a group of people who we welcome in our trips,” says Arnar. “We believe that GayIceland is a good platform to reach them.”
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. Grétar Jónsson, the founder and Director, CFO at Aurora Reykjavík, says that the company’s view on queer rights is clear. “In our opinion we all have the same right; as we see it well in our work where we meet a very broad range of people, it does not matter what color of skin you have, what religion you are, where you come from or if you are queer. The people have all been great and everybody means well.
“In our opinion we all have the same right; it does not matter what color of skin you have, what religion you are, where you come from or if you are queer.”
Those who have something against these groups usually lack knowledge on issues surrounding them and therefore we think it’s good to have made a contribution to change that,” he says, referring to Aurora Reykjavík‘s sponsorship of GayIceland.
“When GayIceland reached out, we had recently decided to put more money into internet marketing and this was the ideal start. In addition, we are very concerned about human rights and so we hit two birds with one stone by sponsoring GayIceland.”