For Margrét Ágústa Þorvaldsdóttir, coming out was a long and difficult process. It took years for her to accept that she was gay, and it was only a few years ago that she began coming out to her family, friends and community. Now, Margrét wants to share her story so that people out there in similar situations know that stories like theirs can have a happy ending.

Margrét says that after she came out her family was very supportive — including her ex-husband.

Before coming out in 2016, Margrét was married to her ex-husband for 13 years. The two of them met when Margrét was 16 years old, and she says they started dating shortly after that. They married when she was 23 years old, and they had their first child a year later.

“At that time, I wasn’t unhappy. I wanted to believe that I was in love. I loved the feeling of security, starting a family, building a life and that kind of thing,” she says. “I felt attraction to women, but I pushed it away. I thought that all women probably felt the same at some point. And time went on — we had two more kids, bought a nice apartment, and busy family life took over.”

Margrét says something changed after her youngest child was born in 2009. “I felt sad, I struggled figuring out what was missing, what was wrong with me. I felt the attraction towards women growing stronger. Feelings that I had probably suppressed for many years. I tried to push those feelings away again, but they just kept coming back stronger and stronger.

“Those years were tough. I struggled alone for years. Just trying to figure out if it was just a phase that would pass, or if I was truly attracted to women.”

‘A huge weight off my shoulders’

In those days, Margrét says she didn’t know of anyone who had gone through something similar, and she was afraid to seeking out other people or information on the internet. It wasn’t until 2015 that she says she finally stopped questioning her feelings and said the words out loud to herself for the first time — she was gay.

“A huge weight was off my shoulders doing that,” she says. “But at the same time I thought: now what?” It was another year before she told her husband and asked for a divorce.

“During those years I felt guilt, I felt anger, I felt confusion, sadness, and isolation. I was scared and I struggled every day,” she says. “I knew my life was a lie and I couldn’t be authentic in any way. I did my best just hiding my feelings and I screened my thoughts and words. I started avoiding conversations, I stopped talking to family and friends, I just wanted to keep my family together. I stayed in my marriage because I thought it would be better for my kids.”

“During those years I felt guilt, I felt anger, I felt confusion, sadness, and isolation. I was scared and I struggled every day. I knew my life was a lie and I couldn’t be authentic in any way.” 

When she eventually came out, Margrét says her family was very supportive — including her ex-husband. “I didn’t know what to expect from him, but he was the best. He supported me all the way,” Margret says. “My closest family knew that I was hiding something big, everyone knew that I wasn’t feeling well. I think they were actually relieved knowing the reason for my unhappiness. I haven’t had any problems with my family. I think actually the divorce was more of a thing for the kids than actually me coming out.”

In particular, Margrét says her sister was a huge support for her as she was coming out. “She was the one who I confided in and the first one I told about this. She took a lot of weight off my shoulders,” Margrét says. “She’s the one who I can always look to with advice, or just to talk. She never judges me in any way, and she listens to my stories. She gives me advice when she can, but just to be there and listen means a lot to me.”

‘I’m not a new person’

Since coming out, she says one of the biggest challenges has been figuring out for herself who the real Margrét is. “When I was in the closet it was a complete isolation,” she says. “I didn’t talk to anyone, so just opening up to anyone was a big deal to me. I cared a lot about how people saw me and what they thought about me, and I was very aware of myself and how people saw me. And that’s a challenge that I’ve had to deal with on my own, just coming out as myself, not trying to be someone who I’m not.

Margrét says her sister was a huge support for her as she was coming out. “She was the one who I confided in and the first one I told about this. She took a lot of weight off my shoulders.”

I even thought about who I should be now that I’m out of the closet. I can be anyone that I want, but you can’t change who you are really,” Margrét says she realized. “I’m not a new person now that I’ve come out of the closet. I’m still me really, but even more me than before.”

She says that coming out later in life definitely makes you feel kind of like a teenager again. “Opening up on your thoughts and feelings, that opens you up in a different level.”

Although she had no connections in the gay community in Iceland, after she came out Margret says she really wanted to get to know other queer people and become part of the community. “I craved meeting people and relating to finding my tribe,” she says. “Just finding people who share the same experience — that meant a lot to me.”

‘People have been very welcoming’

One of the first things Margrét did after coming out was join the Reykjavík Queer Choir. “That was a smart move,” she says. “I’ve met amazing people and made great friends who have actually made this journey a lot easier.”

Now, Margrét says she feels like she’s part of Iceland’s queer community. “People have been very welcoming,” she says. “I don’t think it’s a big deal to people who I came out late in life. Just during the time that I’ve been out of the closet I now know other women who have gone through exactly the same thing that I did.”

Despite the warm welcome, Margrét says she hasn’t started dating yet. “It hasn’t been long since I came out of the closet, so I’m really taking some time to adjust to my new life,” she says. “I was never in a rush to start dating again.”

When asked what she would like to say to other people going through similar experiences, she says she wants people to know that their story can have a happy ending. She also says she think it’s important for people to find someone to confide in.

“If you can confide in a family member or a friend, I would definitely recommend it because having to go through this alone is probably the hardest thing, just keeping it all to yourself,” she says. “Sharing it with someone might take a little bit of weight off your shoulders.”

 

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.

Locations:

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.

      Landsbankinn
      - 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.

      Dohop
      - 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. “

      Macland
      - 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.

        Núðluskálin
        - 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).

        Seatours
        - 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.

        600x400-seatours-tasting

        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.

        600x400-seatours

        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
        -shags
        -kittiwakes
        -fulmars
        -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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