Hinsegin frá A til Ö (loosely translated as: Queer from a to z) is a new website that‘s about to be launched. The subtitle could very well be “Everything you ever wanted to know about queerness” since it will contain a lot of educational matter on queer issues – written in Icelandic.
Íris Ellenberger and Auður Magndís Auðardóttir are the thinkers and writers behind the website and they have started a crowdfunding campaign on Karolina Fund to make it possible to run it.
“To put it simply it is a website about everything concerning queer people,” Íris explains, when asked about the website. “From basic information about concepts like queer, pan sexual, a-sexual, non-binary etc. But there will also be a lot of stuff concerning the story, culture, fight for equal rights and marginalisation of queer people; literature, pink washing, queer nationalism and all kinds of other stuff.”
All the material for the website is ready. It‘s mostly written by Íris and Auður and has been used as teaching material in gender studies at Kvennaskólinn í Reykjavík junior college (or Reykjavík Women’s Gymnasium). How did that come about?
“They have a strong department of gender studies and we got them to test drive our material, so to speak,” says Íris. “There is such a lack of fundamental material conserning queer matters. We have often encountered this lack in our teachings and that’s the reason we decided to do this.”
“That’s one of the reasons we decided to do this, to make this material available in Icelandic. It’s vital that people can read about these things in their own language.”
On top of the material Íris and Auður have written there will be material from other queer people on the website too, where they put queer concepts in personal context. Writing for the website must have been a huge task?
“We had gathered a lot of material as we have both been educating people in queer matters by holding seminars, workshops etc,” says Auður. “We have also been doing reasearch in this field so most of the work now is making the material internet friendly and of course add more material. So it has been a lot of work, but not as much as it would have been if we had to start from scratch.”
Who do you intend the website for?
“Just everyone who wants to educate themselves,” they say in unison. “Because of the lack of material in this field we try to make the stuff on the website speak to as wide a selection of people as possible. For example students of gender studies and sociology, but also queer people and their friends and families.”
And just everyone who wants to know more,” adds Auður.
Even though Auður and íris already have a lot of material for the website, they stress that it will of course be updated and added to after it is launched. “New information is adding up very fast,” says Íris. “So of course it is necessary to update the material from time to time.”
Is there no Icelandic website with this kind of information?
“Hardly any,” answers Auður. “There is some material at the website Áttavitinn, but mostly all the information about queer matters is in English. That’s one of the reasons we decided to do this, to make this material available in Icelandic. It’s vital that people can read about these things in their own language.”
Main photo: Íris and Auður with their children, Bjartur and Ástrós, at Reykjavík Pride last year.