Mag
Last Words
Last Words: Iceland Loses A Wonda

Last Words: Iceland Loses A Wonda

Photos by
Courtesy of Wonda Starr
Júnía Líf Sigurjóns

Published February 7, 2018

The departure of Iceland’s favourite drag queen to England may just be the death of the queer culture renaissance in Iceland. Its life was short and troubled, but for a while there, it was bordering on impressionable.

Perhaps I’m biased, because said drag queen is me, but the thriving queer scene in Iceland will struggle to survive once I’ve gone. Unless you’re a philistine with no interest in cross-dressing attention seekers, life in Iceland will become more bleak and dark than… life in Iceland? I don’t think there’s a better analogy.

Arrest warrants & wetness

I first landed on this sorry little rock four years ago, with nothing but a restraining order from Kevin Spacey and a few international arrest warrants. The cultural scene was a puritanical wasteland. Performers, no matter the medium, were universally clothed; trigger warnings were issued then not lived up to; and audiences would leave a show in the same state of pregnancy, mental wellbeing and wetness with which they entered. It was tragic.

Thankfully, through the art forms of performance, writing and shameless self-promotion, I changed all of that. From nothing, queer variety shows were born all around the city, and all of those that were at least half-decent starred me. While some say I cannot claim full (or even any) credit for the blossoming drag scene across Reykjavík—with regular shows now in Gaukurinn, Loft and Kiki—I like to do so anyway.

Sorry not sorry

My work is now a legacy. Performers once again know that the more clothes they remove, the more tips they receive. Ethnic jokes are back, more ostracising than ever. And drunken acts of public violence are once again considered a form of entertainment. Let’s hope it lasts.

Through achieving these goals, however, I have also been part of a powerful youth movement. The drag renaissance has reinforced the ideals of LGBTQ+ liberation and celebration, challenged ideals of the gender binary, and brought attention to the needs of the disenfranchised and ignored. It has also proved that every oddball child will have an avenue where they can express themselves and a community to embrace them in the future.

For my part in these things, I sincerely apologise. For the rest: you’re welcome.


Mag
Last Words
Night Bus Service In Reykjavik May End After New Year

Night Bus Service In Reykjavik May End After New Year

by

The board of Strætó is considering whether late night bus service on weekends will continue after the new year, RÚV

Mag
Last Words
Oh Yeah! 100 Years Ago Today, Iceland’s Katla Erupted

Oh Yeah! 100 Years Ago Today, Iceland’s Katla Erupted

by

It’s time to celebrate. To be fair, it’s always time to celebrate. But today it’s time to celebrate the 100th

Mag
Last Words
Icelandic Police Forced To Pay Damages To Protesters They Spied On And Libelled Against

Icelandic Police Forced To Pay Damages To Protesters They Spied On And Libelled Against

by

Yesterday, in Reykjavík District Court, the Icelandic government admitted fault and paid damages to two protesters targeted by an infamous

Mag
Last Words
Lawyer For Former Sigur Rós Drummer Issues Demand To Cease Coverage Of Sexual Assault Allegations

Lawyer For Former Sigur Rós Drummer Issues Demand To Cease Coverage Of Sexual Assault Allegations

by

A lawyer for Orri Páll Dýrason, the former drummer for Sigur Rós who quit the band in the wake of

Mag
Last Words
Icelandic Hotel’s Latest Employee: A Cat

Icelandic Hotel’s Latest Employee: A Cat

by

Young Pál, like many from abroad, is here to try her luck in Iceland. However, the work of this employee

Mag
Last Words
Icelandic Króna Weakening Again

Icelandic Króna Weakening Again

by

The exchange rate of the Icelandic króna (ISK) against larger currencies is weakening, casting a shadow on upcoming collective bargaining

Show Me More!