Reykjavík's Secret History - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Reykjavík’s Secret History

Reykjavík’s Secret History

Published August 4, 2011

When Hilmar Magnússon decided to create the Reykjavík LGBT History & Culture Walk this summer, he admits that he wasn’t sure how it would go over. There had previously been tours offering similar services, but they were only run once a year during Gay Pride Week. Hilmar wondered if there was enough interest to sustain the tours more regularly, and discovered a dormant market.
On the tour, Hilmar combines stories of the LGBT nightlife in Reykjavík with stories concerning change in legislation, penal codes, and the struggle for human rights with the goal of helping people to discover some of the history and culture of the LGBT community in Reykjavík. Through these discoveries, he hopes to ignite discussions about the topics.
Though the tour is called “Reykjavík LGBT History & Culture Walk”, and is likely to mostly draw the attention of the LGBT community, he stresses that it’s an enlightening experience for everyone. “It’s a chance to hear about this hidden history, about things you’ve probably never heard about or even considered, to explore another side of Reykjavík,” Hilmar says. “I think it’s important for LGBT people to learn their own history, but it’s equally important for others to get to know it as well. Knowing the history might lead to a better understanding and less prejudice. On top of that, it’s just great fun.”
Be it during Gay Pride Weekend or at a later date, the LGBT History & Culture Walk is worth doing. At the very least, you will get to explore another side of Reykjavík that you may not have even known existed.

The tour, which starts at Trúnó (Laugavegur 22) will run in English on August 4 and 5 at 14:00, and on August 7 at 15:30. It will run in Icelandic on August 7 at 16:30. The minimum number of participants is 5 and the maximum is 20. Tickets cost 2500 ISK. Ten percent of the proceeds will be donated to Reykjavík Gay Pride and another ten percent will be donated to UNICEF.
The tour can be booked calling Hilmar at 867 3919 or e-mailing him at hilmar.magnusson@gmail.com. Additional information can be found on the Facebook page: “Reykjavik LGBT History & Culture Walk.”

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