“Together we are a force for positive change”

The Icelandic National Queer Organization, Samtökin ’78, has a new chair, a young bisexal woman, a linguist and a mother by the name of Þorbjörg Þorvaldsdóttir.

Þorbjörg Þorvaldsdóttir, the new chair of the national queer organization Samtökin ’78, here taking part in the Reykjavík Pride Parade.

But who is she, were does she come from and what are the biggest challenges she will be facing as the chair of Samtökin ’78? GayIceland contacted Þorbjörg to get answers to those questions and the first one was simply: Who are you?
“My name is Þorbjörg, I’m 29 years old and bisexual. I’m married to Silja Ýr S. Leifsdóttir and we have a daughter together, Valbjörg María, who is 3 years old. I come from Garðabær, where I grew up for the most part and where I live now. I’ve also lived in several other places in Iceland as well as in Denmark, Honduras and the Netherlands. I’m a linguist. I completed a BA in general linguistics at the University of Iceland, and obtained an MA degree in linguistics from Leiden University in the Netherlands in 2017. I’m currently a PhD student of Icelandic linguistics at the University of Iceland. Previously, I have worked part-time as a bartender, caretaker in a nursing home, hotel receptionist and as a flight attendant.”

What are your feelings regarding your new position as chair of Samtökin ’78?
“I’m very excited about this role and the year ahead. I also feel the weight of responsibility, of course. Samtökin ’78 is a great organization and there is such rich history involved. I’m going to do my absolute best in upholding its name by fighting for equality and acceptance of all queer people.”

“ … a bill that will allow more hate speech has been presented in parliament. We have been very vocal in our opposition to those changes, of course, especially in light of the fact that there is next to nothing being done to combat hate speech or hate crimes in Iceland.”

Why did you decide to run for this office?
“I’ve enjoyed working for Samtökin ’78 and felt that I could be of even more use as the spokesperson and leader of this organization.”

Have you been involved in the work of Samtökin ’78 before?
“Yes. I’ve been part of the board of Samtökin ’78 as secretary for the past year, and before I moved to the Netherlands in 2015, I was a member of trúnaðarráð – which has the role of an advisory board.”

What do you consider the biggest challenges you’ll be facing in this job? What are the big issues and what will you emphasize in your work as chair of the organisation?
“I want Samtökin ’78 to mature and expand, and the challenge there lies in maintaining a close connection with the grassroots while also allowing Samtökin to grow to its full potential. Another huge challenge is simply making sure that Iceland does not suffer a backlash in queer acceptance and rights as we have seen happen in countries around us. Right now, for example, a bill that will allow more hate speech has been presented in parliament. We have been very vocal in our opposition to those changes, of course, especially in light of the fact that there is next to nothing being done to combat hate speech or hate crimes in Iceland.

“What I think is ever-important, and that we need to focus on the most, is queer education. Educating people about what it means to be queer is the most efficient way to combat prejudice and increase acceptance.”

Another bill that we are following closely is a bill on trans and intersex rights. This legislation, when passed, will improve the lives of trans and intersex people considerably. It will make changes in gender registration and official name change much easier, and give trans people access to medical care without having to first be diagnosed with a mental illness. It is a very important step forward. At the same time, the authorities decided not to include protections for intersex children against normalizing surgeries and other unnecessary medical interventions, which were present in earlier drafts. We are extremely disappointed by that, and sincerely hope that the bill will be corrected as it passes through parliament.

What I think is ever-important, and that we need to focus on the most, is queer education. Educating people about what it means to be queer is the most efficient way to combat prejudice and increase acceptance. We’ve come a long way here in Iceland, but there are still so many spheres of society that we need to reach. One of our goals is that all people who complete university education in subjects that prepare students for working with people, such as becoming teachers, doctors, police officers and psychologists, will receive training on how to address queer issues. This would be incredibly beneficial for both the professionals themselves and queer people in Iceland. It’s very important to know that you will not be met with prejudice when you seek e.g. police assistance or when you need medical care.

Samtökin ‘78 also need to push for improvements with regards to legal protection and assistance for queer asylum seekers. Queer people who seek asylum here in Iceland are being deported back to countries where their lives are in danger simply for being who they are. This is absolutely unacceptable.

“We need to have a plan in place to make sure that people will not have to hide who they are as they grow older and need assistance at home or move into nursing homes.“

Another issue that will become more and more pressing in the coming years has to do with queer senior citizens. We need to have a plan in place to make sure that people will not have to hide who they are as they grow older and need assistance at home or move into nursing homes. Again, I believe that educating professionals is a key factor in ensuring this doesn’t happen.

In general, I think that it is essential that all queer people in Iceland, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics, feel that they belong in Samtökin ’78. Together we are a force for positive change, and together is how we can best influence our society.”

Á. Óskarsson
Á. Óskarsson

Á. Óskarsson offers a variety of products and services to sports centers, swimming pools, schools, kindergartens, and the general public. The company specializes in sport-related products, activity-focused games, and a wide range of solutions for sports facilities.

Á. Óskarsson has been involved in numerous big projects related to building sports facilities and has made it their benchmark to offer good quality products and equipment since the company was founded.

See links to social media in the upper left-hand corner


Á. Óskarsson selur fjölbreytt vöruúrval fyrir íþróttahús, sundlaugar, skóla og leikskóla og einnig ýmsar vörur til einkaafnota. Fyrirtækið selur vörur til íþróttaiðkunnar og leikja ásamt því að bjóða upp á ýmsar lausnir fyrir íþróttamannvirki.

Á. Óskarsson hefur komið að fjölda stórra verkefna við byggingu íþróttamannvirkja og hefur frá stofnun kappkostað að bjóða vandaðar og endingargóðar vörur.

Tenglar á samfélagsmiðla eru í efra horninu vinstra megin.



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    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: 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.

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        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
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        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.

        - 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. “

        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.

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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.

          Contact Us

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