Former Prime Minister and “Power Lesbian”, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, gave a memorable speech at this year’s Reykjavík Pride Opening Ceremony when she called for international leaders and organisations to address LGBT rights by battling stereotypes and harmful myths about the LGBT community. Myths that she believes are brought on and sustained by ignorance.
“It is terrible, terrible knowing that in many countries it is legal to throw LGBT people into jail until the end of their days, force them into hard labour, exile or even stone them to death,” said Jóhanna. “Yes it is a great tragedy that in the year 2014 so called anti-gay laws are present in over 80 countries and that the death sentence for homosexuality is a reality in 10 countries.”
Jóhanna went on to say that it is unacceptable that many heads of state, religious leaders and other influential members of society still believed that homosexuality is a disease, citing that she was especially sad when she heard that a Russian MP believed that Viennese singer Conchita Wurst’s Eurovision win was a sign of Europe’s moral demise and the cause of the floods that plagued the Balkans earlier this summer.
Jóhanna also expressed pride at her countrymen and the progressive attitude Icelanders have towards the LGBT community.
“Iceland is at the forefront of countries guaranteeing the rights of the [LGBT community],” Jóhanna added. “Because of this, it is fun to be an Icelander abroad, to be able to – with great pride – tell the story of our relentless battle [for equality], one that has delivered such great results.”
Don’t forget! The Gay Pride Parade is today! People are asked to turn up at BSÍ bus terminal at 13:30, the march will begin promptly at 14:00.
For more information on how to best enjoy this year’s Pride activities, check out the Grapevine’s Guide to Pride
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