Straight men talk about the experience of being a drag queen.

The drag scene has up until now mainly been the domain of gay men but that’s rapidly changing. Straight men and straight women are not uncommon on the scene these days, both here in Iceland and especially abroad. GayIceland was curious to know how straight men experience being part of the drag scene so we contacted two straight men, Thomas Brorsen Smidt, who is currently performing as the drag queen Jackie Moon, and Gísli Friðrik Sigurðsson, who won the title Drag Queen of Iceland in 2009, and asked them how it felt to be a straight drag queen.

“Older gays can’t believe I’m not gay”

Thomas Brorsen Smidt is a 32 years old straight man who performs as the drag queen Jackie Moon with the drag group House of Strike, that will be performing tonight at Húrra.

Thomas Brorsen Smidt is a 32 years old straight man who performs as the drag queen Jackie Moon. Thomas is originally from Denmark, and currently finishing his PhD dissertation in gender studies at the University of Iceland. He lives with his girlfriend María in downtown Reykjavik. Thomas performs with the drag queen troupe House of Strike alongside Pixy Strike, James the Creature and Tiffany with a C.

How did it come about that he started doing drag?
“In the past I used to do a lot of acting and was also singer and a drummer in various bands, so performing and being the center of attention always came naturally to me. Then one day a little over a year ago my now drag mother Pixy Strike contacted me pretty much out of the blue and asked if I wanted to be her backup dancer. I said yes immediately and I started to perform with her in the local drag scene.
At first I was just known in the scene as Jack Off, the weird dude acting as Pixy’s de facto sex object on stage. But I was just really enjoying the attention and getting the chance to perform for people again.

Then one day not so long ago Pixy said she would teach me how to be a drag queen because, as she said: “You could slay!” She named me Jackie Moon and I haven’t looked back. Now we’re together in the drag group House of Strike and are planning on tearing it up at Húrra on February 23.”

There are not many straight men doing drag, why do you think that is?
“Because drag is associated with being gay, and many straight guys spend their entire lives dissociating themselves from anything considered gay. I never really connected with this. But there’s a reason why “That’s so gay” or “Ekki vera faggi” are popular terms among straight guys. A lot of them might not engage in overt kinds of homophobia like hauling slurs at or punching gay people – though some do and such incidents seems to be on the rise -, but the phobia still exists as some kind of weird reluctance to be associated with gayness.

Thomas in drag.

I applaud the straight men that come to a drag show for the first time, but I also often hear their nervous laughter and bantering that they use to distance themselves from what is going on. A lot of them seem too afraid to let loose and have a genuinely good time.

I once saw a drunk, straight guy take part in an audience participation game during a drag show. While he was on stage he was constantly yelling profanities to his mates in the audience so as if to say “It’s ok, I’m not gay even though I’m having fun with this.”

If straight men are so visibly uncomfortable just being at a drag show, how do think they’d feel if someone asked them to put on makeup and a dress?”

What do your friends and family think about you being a drag queen?
“I haven’t experienced anything but support from family and friends. Granted, my extended family is in Denmark, but I see a lot of them – only the women though, see reasons above – liking my Instagram posts and stuff like that. If anyone in my family thinks drag is Satan, then they haven’t said anything.

“If you’re straight you can’t really trade your dick for fame in the drag world unless you’re willing to be seriously bi-curious for a while.”

My parents have told me that some of the people they know have inquired as to my sexuality after the whole drag thing began, which I think says something about the extent to which drag and gay are sometimes thought of as being one and the same. But my parents have been particularly supportive and are always talking about how great it would be to come and see me do a show someday. Support from those closest to you means the most. I consider myself very lucky.”

Is there a difference in the attitude of your straight friends and your queer friends regarding your drag performance?
“No, everyone thinks I’m amazing.”

How did the people in the drag scene receive you?
“At first I was received with complete openness and acceptance. Then, after a while, when it began to sink in that I was not just going through a straight phase, disappointment reared its ugly head. I was flattered.”

Are there some obstacles a straight man has to overcome to be appreciated as a drag performer?
“Yeah, it’s hard sleeping your way to the top like some of these other hoes do. I’m not mentioning any names, but there are names, names like Wonda Starr. But I digress. If you’re straight you can’t really trade your dick for fame in the drag world unless you’re willing to be seriously bi-curious for a while.”

“But some of the older gays still cannot, will not, fathom that I’m not gay … the idea of drag queens being gay men is so rooted in their consciousness that they can’t seem to let go.”

Have you ever been accused of cultural appropriation by the more PC gays?
“No, never. But some of the older gays still cannot, will not, fathom that I’m not gay. For some people the idea of drag queens being gay men is so rooted in their consciousness that they can’t seem to let go.”

In “the old days” it was almost only gay men who did drag but it seems to be changing rapidly with the entrance of so called bio-queens – women as drag-queens – on the drag scene. Do you think there is some major shift going on regarding drag performances?

“Yes, definitely. I actually really dislike the terms bio-queen and faux-queen. A drag queen is a drag queen regardless of whether she tucks or not, and having separate terms for girls who do drag I think is a way of othering women in the scene. But that’s just my opinion, I don’t like to go around term-policing in a drag community that has decades of struggles behind it that I will never understand as a straight man.”


Did not experience any negativity

Gísli Friðrik Sigurðsson is a 37 years old straight family man who works in a shop in Reykjavík. Gísli was one of the first straight men to perform in drag in Iceland.

Gísli Friðrik Sigurðsson was one of the first straight men to perform in drag in Iceland.

It was on a dare from his friend that he started performing in drag and the results were stunning. He even went as far as to win the title Drag Queen of Iceland back in 2009. How was the feeling to win that title as a straight man?
“It was a bit weird. It took me about fifteen minutes to realize that I had actually won, but then I quickly got used to the idea.”

What did the other contestants think of a straight man winning the competition?
“I did not experience any negativity at the time, but I heard there had been discussions about it later. I don’t know if that is true and I didn’t take it to heart. My feeling is that overall there were no negative voices surrounding my victory.”

“It took me about fifteen minutes to realize that I had actually won, but then I quickly got used to the idea.”

How did the people in your inner circle react?
“They were surprised, but at the same time they were happy for me and very supportive.”

Gísli went as far as to win the title Drag Queen of Iceland back in 2009.

Now there are more straight men performing in drag, what is your reaction to that?
“I think it is a positive evolution. It’s great that straight and queer people are united in this.”

What do you think of the icelandic drag scene today?
“I think it is good on the whole. Some performers are more original than others, but that is how it goes in this scene.”

Do you find the scene much altered since you were part of it?
“The scene is always changing. There are constantly new stories being told and the acts are evolving all the time. The shows keep getting more professional and the settings more extravagant from year to year.”

Would you be willing to start performing again?
“Never say never!”

The Hamburger Factory
- gourmet burgers

Ok. You’re in Iceland. Most likely for the first time.

You will probably bathe in the Blue Lagoon and take a road trip to Gullfoss and
Geysir. That’s all well and good. But neither Geysir’s nor waterfalls are
something you eat. That’s why we have 15 brilliant and creative hamburgers at
The Hamburger Factory. And they are all perfectly square. Don’t miss out on
Iceland’s most beloved hamburgers.

The Hamburger Factory is Iceland’s most innovative gourmet burger chain.
Packed with burger-craving customers since it’s opening in 2010, among the
regulars is Iceland’s best known fisherman, Eric Clapton. In our restaurants we
welcome tourists with our newspaper like menu and smiley service. They are
packed with fun items and memorable connections to Icelandic pop culture.


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.


    Alfred’s Apartments
    - gay owned an operated

      Alfred’s Apartments and Alfred’s Studios is a gay operated and owned accommodation in the heart of Reykjavik.

      Alfred’s Apartments offers spacious apartments at a good price located just around the corner from Laugavegur shopping street. You can choose the apartment starting from a Small Studio for 2 persons to a large One-bedroom Apartment with balcony for 5 persons.

      Their staff will ensure your comfort during the stay and provide the most updated information about the city, gay and night life in Reykjavik.

      Each apartment has a private bathroom with a shower, fully equipped kitchen and free Wi-Fi. Guests can buy groceries at the local grocery store 50 meters from the apartments. Because of their very central location, numerous shops, restaurants and cafés are available in the surrounding area. The Church of Hallgrimur is located 350 m from the apartments, a tourist agency is just 50 m away and the nearest gay bar is less than 5 minutes walking distance.

      Laekur hostel
      In the hostel we have dorms for 4-8 persons with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. The rooms are furnished with free internet, lockers, and a USB charger by each bed. The beds have linen provided and you can rent a towel in the cafe on the ground floor for 5 EUR.

      All the dorms are mixed with both genders. You can also book a whole room with 4-8 bunker beds.

      Blue Lagoon
      - a world of wonder

      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 2000 meters within the earth where sea and fresh water converge in a tectonic frontier 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 a hotel, a restaurant, a luxury lounge, a renowned line of skin care, a research center, in-water massage, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

      Achieving harmony with the volcanic landscape of Iceland’s Reykjanes lava plain, the lagoon and its surrounding architecture embody the unification of the man-made and the natural, and adhere to the highest principles of sustainability.

      Blue Lagoon. A wonder of the world. A world of wonder.

      Whales of Iceland
      - larger than life

      Whales of Iceland is the largest whale exhibition in Europe (and perhaps even the world), where guests can learn about the giants of the sea in a calm and modern environment. The permanent exhibition features whales like guests have never seen them before. It is truly a giant experience.

      - 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. “

      - 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.

      Aurora Reykjavik
      - northern lights center

        Aurora Reykjavik is a Northern Lights Center situated in downtown Reykjavík at the Old Harbor next to Icelandair Hotel Marina and Vikin Maritime Museum.

        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, with the highlights being large HD projection of the Aurora’s. We also share myths and legends about what our ancestor thought about those mystical lights.

        The Northern Lights Center is for all ages. Children are our favorite guests and we created the exhibition in a way that children can have a look freely and parents don’t have to worry about things being broken.

        Aurora Reykjavik offers a great selection of souvenirs that are designed and made by Icelanders along with nice little coffee corner, where you can enjoy free coffee and tea while browsing through the souvenirs or just planning your next step.

        Contact Aurora

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        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.

        - noodle bar

        Núðluskálin is a small gay owned and operated fusion noodle bar.

        All of our courses are individually made from fresh ingredients and therefore highly customisable.
        We offer fully Vegan versions of all courses.
        Though originally a take-away we now seat over 30 people.

        Núðluskálin is located right in the heart of Reykjavík on Skólavörðustígur 8 (street leading up to the big Church) near the junction with Laugavegur (main street).

        - adventure cruise

        Ferry Baldur – the gate to the West fjords
        and VikingSushi Adventure – Bird & Nature watching Tour for everyone all year around

        The “VikingSushi Adventure” is the right boat tour for travelers who are adventurous and want to experience something new – close up to the nature seafood simply doesn’t come fresher than this! The archipelago area of the Breidafjordur Bay always surprises her visitors during winter or summer with spectacular sights. Where else you get to try delicious fresh scallops and sea urchin roe straight from the ocean served with soy sauce, wasabi and ginger.


        This old volcanic area, characterized by the typical basalt formations of the islands, is the home of countless birds. Here you will also find the strongest currents in Iceland. The VikingSushi Tour takes roughly two hours and our captain is also the tour guide.


        The VikingSushi Tour is a true adventure through incredible nature which should not be missed by any traveler to West Iceland.

        Birds, possible to spot:
        -puffins (from the middle of April until the middle of August)
        -eider ducks
        -white-tailed eagle

        The car ferry Baldur is the bridge to the West fjords via the island Flatey
        Ferry Baldur crosses Breidafjordur Bay daily from Stykkisholmur on the Snæfellsnes peninsula to Brjanslaekur in the north. A ferry ride considerably shortens the route between the south and mid-west of the country and the West Fjords region. It also gives you the opportunity to experience a floating restaurant.

        Take a stopover at the charming island Flatey when you are crossing the bay or go to a day tour to Flatey and back to Stykkishólmur. At Flatey are no cars allowed and between the houses of the 18th century you get the feeling of a journey back in time.

        Contact Us

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