Published July 20, 2020
Pride Month may be in June for some parts of the world, but in Iceland—as in much of Scandinavia—it’s in August. Being Americans by birth, and both being queer living in Iceland, this month carries special meaning for us, especially as we look westward to our birth country with despair and anxiety.
Andie’s trans agenda
In the United States, the Trump administration is currently doing seemingly everything it can to erase trans people and further marginalise them. The murder of trans people, in particular Black trans women, continues in the US seemingly unabated. Meanwhile, in the UK, author J.K. Rowling dropping the mask, “coming out” as a full-blown transphobe and emboldening bigots, as she uses her massive platform to legitimise hate.
It is for this reason that some of us trans people who moved from the US to Iceland, can feel a sense of survivor’s guilt, living in a country that is comparatively tolerant and progressive. So this Pride, we will not only fight for further progress here at home, but better days for our trans siblings in the US.
Hannah’s radical manifesto
It’s a bizarre experience to watch your homeland burn—and quite literally at that—while you sit pretty, outside, mask-less, in a country with a comparatively supreme standard of living.
In truth, these past few months have presented both the best and worst of humanity. On one hand, we saw the largest worldwide protest of all time demanding rights and respect for Black people. On the other hand, regressive extremists have only grown more extreme and now appear to feel no shame about presenting their harmful views publicly.
In Iceland, I believe the most targeted group of hatred and bigotry are immigrants, particularly those of colour. This Pride, I hope queer Icelanders do their best to make queer immigrants feel welcome in the wider LGBTQ+ community. I’m tired of seeing those from far away countries who moved here for a better life be left out of not only politics, cultural life and media representation, but also the marginalised groups you’d expect would support them. We need to do better.
But I believe in the resilience and love of the queer community and I’m optimistic about the future. But if not, isn’t it exciting to watch the end of mankind?
Andie Sophia Fontaine & Hannah Jane Cohen
Female goddesses & editors at the Reykjavík Grapevine
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