A safer environment for trans and questioning people

A support group for foreign trans people founded in Reykjavík.

Jay Lalonde, has formed a support group for foreign trans people in Iceland.

Jay Lalonde moved to Iceland in the summer of 2017  and soon found out that there was very little information on trans matters publicly available, and almost none of it in English. Something had to be done and Jay came up with an idea. To help foreign trans people get the information they need and strengthen the bond between them they have started an English speaking support group that meets twice a month at Andrými in down town Reykjavík.  GayIcleand got in touch with Jay, to ask get more info on the group and how it began.

“My name is Jay, and I moved to Iceland in summer 2017. I am currently studying at Háskóli Íslands, and even though I knew some Icelandic before arriving, as soon as I started the medical transition process here in Iceland – or even when I was trying to find out information about it – I realised there is very little information publicly available and almost nothing in English. I was lucky to talk to some amazing people from the local trans organisation Trans Ísland and got most of the information I needed that way. Talking with other trans immigrants, I started to think about how foreigners are often excluded from queer events because most of them naturally happen in Icelandic, and also because most people in the community already know each other well so it is often difficult for newcomers to get involved.”

“The group is intended for trans and questioning people – i.e. those who are thinking they might be trans. The meetings are held in English, but foreigners and Icelanders … alike are welcome to come.”

Whom is the group intended for?
“The group is intended for trans and questioning people – i.e. those who are thinking they might be trans. The meetings are held in English, but foreigners and Icelanders (when and how does one become an Icelander, anyway?) alike are welcome to come.”

What’s the purpose of the support group?
“The goal of the support group is to both create a safer environment for trans and questioning people to meet and talk about anything we want without the usual stress and everyday trans phobia present elsewhere, and also to help people – especially foreigners who are not fluent in Icelandic – to access useful information, for example about the rights of trans people in Iceland, medical transition system, name changes etc. It is really important that the group is grassroots – trans-organised and intended for trans participants – and as inclusive as possible. The place we meet at, Andrými, is a self-organised radical social space which also means that people are not only welcome to come to our meetings but also to organize their own trans-focused – or not – events in the space.”

The group meets twice a month at Andrými.

The group meets twice a month, every second and fourth Tuesday, and you can find detailed information and news about it in the Facebook event. But is the foreign trans community big in Iceland?
“I would say the foreign trans community is proportionate to the domestic trans community, but I think as some foreigner communities are sometimes a bit more closed off to an outsider like me it is often more difficult to reach them with information. I am always thinking about ways to make more foreigners aware of the support group.”

Based on your experience elsewhere how does the Icelandic health system stand in handling trans matters?
“I think the Icelandic system of medical transition and trans-specific healthcare is good compared to some other countries, e.g. those requiring sterilisation to change one’s ID documents etc., but medical professionals in Iceland are not always as educated as they should be in dealing with trans people, for example they very often ask intrusive questions about one’s sex life, partners, and other things that they would certainly consider private if dealing with a cis person.

The system is also not very flexible in letting people choose which parts of the medical system they are interested in – seeing a psychiatrist, psychologist, endocrinologist to access hormones, social worker etc. – and instead forces a “one-way-fits-all” approach which also causes waiting lists to be even longer than they would be otherwise, in my opinion.

“I would love to see everyone being able to just go to Þjóðskrá (Registers Iceland) and be able to change their name and gender, including to a gender neutral option, Icelandic citizens and non-citizens alike.”

Some people have been waiting for their medical appointments for a very long time, often for many months and even over a year, which understandably takes a toll on their mental well-being. It is also unclear what options are available to non-binary people wanting to medically transition in Iceland. I think the healthcare system could be truly great if it just gave trans people more agency over what and when do we want to do with our bodies.

I would love to see everyone being able to just go to Þjóðskrá (Registers Iceland) and be able to change their name and gender, including to a gender neutral option, Icelandic citizens and non-citizens alike.”

Anything else you want to convey to the readers of GayIceland?
“I think it would be great if the queer community always strived to be supportive of everyone in it; queer immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, queers who cannot speak Icelandic, non-passing trans people, trans people who want to medically transition and the ones who do not, non-binary people, intersex people, and many other groups, instead of just using “queer” as a fashionable synonym for “gay,” so we can together make Iceland the queer paradise it is often described to be.”

Blush

    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 (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.

        Landsbankinn
        - leading financial institution
        Landsbankinn

        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

        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.

          Macland
          - for all your Apple needs
          Macland

          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


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