About 90,000 people – over one-quarter the population of Iceland – attended yesterday’s Reykjavík Pride celebrations.
Vísir reports that some 30 floats took part in the parade, which began at the BSÍ bus terminal and ended at the foot of Arnarhóll. Reykjavík Pride kicked off with a speech from former Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir who, while condemning the active homophobia and intolerance present in other countries, emphasised that “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.”
Participants in the parade included representatives from Amnesty International, members of Reykjavík City Council (including Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson), the Scouts of Iceland for the first time, and others. Even the Reykjavík Police showed their support.
But it was none other than singer Páll Óskar who stole the show in a giant swan-shaped float, evoking the story of the Ugly Duckling, which he described to attendees as “the gayest story I’ve ever heard.”
The concert at the foot of Arnarhóll was well-attended, as the above photo illustrates, and the overall experience was received positively by the festival organisers themselves.
“This is just like an adventure,” Reykjavík Pride chairperson Eva María Lange told Vísir. “What’s so great and special about the Pride Parade is it changes from year to year, we never know ahead of time what the spirit of the parade will be like. It reflects the national discussion each time.”
This marks the 16th Pride march in Iceland. The first, in 1999, was only attended by 1,500 people.