Ugla Stefanía. Photo / Oddvar Hjartar

Trans Awareness Week: Exposing Anti-LGBTIQIA+ Rhetoric As Conspiracy

OPINION Ugla Stefanía writes about the relevance of Trans Awareness week.

With Trans Awareness week being celebrated across the globe around this time of year, it’s important to reflect on why we still have days and weeks like this. In recent weeks there has been a real barrage of anti-LGBTQIA+ hatred that’s bubbled to the surface in public discourse in Iceland, showcasing that there is still work to do.

But thankfully this barrage seems to be led by a very small minority of people, who have increasingly become more absurd in their claims as they’ve gone on. It started with claims that LGBTQIA+ inclusive education was ‘transing’ kids, and that comprehensive sex education was teaching young children ‘to masturbate’ and showing them ‘graphic sex’.

While none of these things are true, these types of claims became incessantly loud for a couple of weeks, despite being routinely dismissed by professionals in the field, as well as the government and relevant institutions. It seems that this group of people cares very little for evidence and best practice, and are more concerned with peddling misinformation and straight up lies about important education for young people.

In recent weeks the discourse from this group has become even more absurd, their slogans including things like: “Get the porn out!” and “leave the children alone”, and most recently someone suggested that the increase in mould in primary school buildings is due to sex-education, and the lack of studies on Christianity. How this individual made this conclusion is still a bit unclear, but I reckon the next ‘protest’ this group holds will be an interesting one.

Most recently someone suggested that the increase in mould in primary school buildings is due to sex-education, and the lack of studies on Christianity. How this individual made this conclusion is still a bit unclear, but I reckon the next ‘protest’ this group holds will be an interesting one.

As a trans person in the public eye, some of this hatred and discourse has been directed at me personally – including three men objectifying my body and theorising about what type of sex I have with my partner, asking questions like: “has this freak cut off their junk”, and someone indirectly suggesting I commit suicide. With people like that at the helm, we sadly don’t have to be very worried they’ll achieve much.

The reality is that the majority of Icelandic society supports LGBTQIA+ people – and the most recent Pride in Iceland showed somewhere between 70,000 – 100,000 people attending. For a population of 375,000, that’s a huge number of people.

In contrast, around 15 people showed up for the latest ‘global peace walk’ protesting LGBTQIA+ education and comprehensive sex education, hosted by the aforementioned group of conspiracy theorists.

But the harassment, discrimination and hate speech that still permeates Icelandic society, in particular in online discourse, is still very much real and has negative consequences. While we have made it far as a country and the majority of people support us, there are still sections of society that hold uninformed and prejudiced views about our community, with some of them being incredibly hostile.

The global rise in anti-trans rhetoric has also been painfully felt in Iceland, where old homophobia is being dressed up in a new costume, and directed at trans people instead. This includes all the same tired old tales about ‘safety’, where trans people are wrongfully painted as the aggressors, as the narratives turn reality on its head in their unhealthy and obsessive tirade against us.

Thankfully we have been able to stand stronger against it than many other countries around Europe, and that is in part thanks to our progress of gender equality, and the positive relationships and solidarity between the LGBTQIA+ movement and the women’s rights movement. A recent example of the solidarity between them is the recent Women’s Strike, which is now officially explicitly a strike for all women and non-binary people.

But while we’ve made important steps that, as an example, put us on the top of the Trans Rights Map 2023 recently published by Transgender Europe, Iceland is far from perfect.

This trans awareness week I want to call out to all our allies to continue fighting for us, challenging transphobia where they encounter it, and make it known that such things will not be tolerated in our society.

LGBTQIA+ people in Iceland still experience discrimination and harassment in most areas of life – whether that be at work, at school, on the street, when seeking services or even within their own families.

Research about LGBTQIA+ people in the job market in Iceland shows significant gaps in equality, young LGBTQIA+ students experience increased bullying and harassment, LGBTQIA+ asylum seekers and refugees still face lack of understanding and recognition, and the waiting lists for trans health care in Iceland continue to be far too long, leaving trans people in limbo.

And these are just a few of the challenges we still face in Iceland.

It’s vitally important that we never get complacent, and we also remember that things can change in an instant given the right circumstances, or as we like to say in Iceland: skjótt skipast veður í lofti.

So for this trans awareness week I want to call out to all our allies to continue fighting for us, challenging transphobia where they encounter it, and make it known that such things will not be tolerated in our society. We need to continue to expose anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric for what it is: conspiracy theories, misinformation and blatant bigotry.

We need to make it clearer now more than ever that anti-trans and anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric is not welcome here, and continue to inform and educate people, to dispel misinformation and eradicate discrimination.

In the words of Marsha P. Johnson: No freedom for some of us, without liberation for all of us.

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.



    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:

    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.

        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

        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.

        - 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.

          - 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.

          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

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