HinUng is a new association for queer people between the ages of 18 and 25, meant to be a bridge between the Young queers association and the Q-association of queer students at the University of Iceland.
“We want to create a safe environment for people of this age that have recently come out as well as every queer person of this age who wants to meet other queer people,” says Davíð Illugi Hjörleifsson, one of the founders of HinUng.
“Some of us felt it was a little scary to go to meetings at the Q-association as everyone there is old enough to be at university and the Young queers association is meant for the age group 13-17 years old,” Davíð explains. “We felt we needed some kind of bridge between these two groups.”
After a meeting with people from the Q-association the idea got stronger. “The Q-association is active within the University,” Davíð says. “Their meetings are once a week and they are active within the queer university society all around the world. HinUng is more like a meeting place for young queers. We want to make our meetings a safe ground for everyone interested in meeting and getting to know other queer people of the same age.”
“We want to make our meetings a safe ground for everyone interested in meeting and getting to know other queer people of the same age.”
David and Noah Declan Roloff started a Facebook group in September last year and the first meeting of HinUng was held on December the 14th. “There was almost no-one there,” Davíð says with a laugh. “So me and Noah decided we had to make a bigger effort, advertised like crazy and planed a pop quiz evening. We had our first formal meeting on February the 4th and the attendance was much better. Since then we have elected a board and made lots of plans for the future.”
The board of seven people was elected last weekend and Bergur Arnar Jónsson was elected president of HinUng and Noah Declan Roloff vice-president. David is in charge of the Facebook page and the Facebook group which currently counts 55 members. He is also in charge of planing events, advertising and recruiting new members. Next up is a board game night at the head quarters of Samtökin ´78 at Suðurgata 3, in Reykjavík this Saturday and Davíð urges people to show up, have fun and get to meet likeminded people. “It starts at 17 in the afternoon and we have the place to ourselves for two hours,” he says. “Every queer person from the age of 18 to 25 is welcome.”
Asked how people who want to join the association should go about it Davíð points to The Facebook page of HinUng. “The group is closed but the page is open and everyone interested can message us there,” he explains. “We aim to have a lot of educational meetings and “cis-het” people are welcome to those events if they send us a message in advance, but the fun events and meetings are just for queers. We want them to feel appreciated and welcome, socially accepted.”
After the board games night on Saturday there are plans for educational meetings for friends and families of young queers, quiz nights and theatrical improvisation nights. “We are also planning on having an open house on Thursdays once a month at Samtökin ´78 as a means to let more queer people know of our existence,” says Davíð. “We hope to have some event every two weeks and I urge queer people of that age to follow our Facebook page and keep up with what we are doing. The guest list of every event is hidden so even those who are still in the closet can feel quite safe joining.”
But does he think that an association like this is necessary? “Absolutely! When I moved back to Iceland from Norway last year I didn‘t have any support system here and it helped me enormously to get to know other queer people my age and get active in the queer association. That’s what we in HinUng are aiming at: creating support and social recognition for young queers in Iceland. We all need that. Plus it’s loads of fun!”
Main photo, upper row from the left: Bergur Arnar Jónsson (president), Noah Declan Roloff (vice-president), Ren Kröyer (event manager). Lower row, from the left: Hrannar Bjarki Aðalheiðarson and Linda Dögg Sigurbjörnsdóttir (event managers), Davíð Illugi Hjörleifsson (event manager, web wizard, advertising), Védís Mist Agnarsdóttir (secretary).