The Icelandic LGBT community achieved an especially exciting feat this year; the Reykjavík Human Rights Prize was awarded to Gay Pride. The prize is given annually to a person, group or organisation dedicated to helping their community with a humanitarian cause. “After 13 years of hard work,” Gay Pride President Þorvaldur Kristinsson said, “Reykjavík gay pride was (finally!) nominated and presented with this honourable prize, and it’s of course great encouragement for our work here because what I see as most important in any queer struggle is the struggle for visibility in a heterosexual society.”
Gay Pride, which attracts nearly 90 thousand people nationwide, or one fourth of Iceland’s population, has been especially instrumental to the Icelandic LGBT community. “It’s somewhat of an amazement,” Þorvaldur remarked. “Every year after Gay Pride people come out to families and friends and gradually to society as a whole.” Encouragement for the LGBT community through attendance at the festival as well as the city council’s formal recognition of their outstanding efforts have helped to create a positive environment for sexual minorities in Reykjavík.