A man who was born with a female body was attacked by three men at a nightclub in Reykjavík last weekend. The victim’s friend, who is also transgender, said prejudice is rife in Icelandic society and that people in their position are frightened.
The Reykjavík nightlife. The photo is not related to the article. Archive photo by Páll Stefánsson.
The reason for last weekend’s assault is said to be that the three men did not approve of the victim’s use of the men’s restroom, visir.is reports.
His friend, Hafþór Loki Theodórsson, described the events on his website, saying he was lucky to escape with minor injuries.
“The beat him until he managed to escape. He entered a taxi and explained what had happened and was then told by the bloody driver that it is insane to be a ‘trannie’,” Hafþór wrote.
The victim is not planning to sue over the assault because he does not want to attract public attention to himself or his family.
“From an international perspective the situation in Iceland is good. One wants to believe that the fight [for equality] is mostly over as homosexuals can be legally married here under the same marital law that applies to heterosexuals but underneath it all there is a lot of prejudice and it’s more prevalent than people are willing to acknowledge,” Hafþór said.
“As an example, the night of the attack a homosexual guy I know was denied entrance to a nightclub,” he added.
This week, Samtökin 78, the National Queer Organization, called for tolerance and support for transgender individuals. At the same time they urged Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament, to complete legal amendments to improve their situation in society.
“Like the situation is today, it is not illegal to deny me work or housing. My sexual identity is not protected by Icelandic law. Anyone can discriminate against me and talk about me anyway they like and there is nothing I can do about it,” Hafþór said of his legal position.