Reykjavík Pride opened yesterday on the steps of Menntaskólinn í Reykjavík high school, which had been painted in rainbow colors.
Reykjavík Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson joined organizers of the gay pride festival in painting the steps yesterday afternoon.
The festival, whose schedule you can look up here, continues through Sunday with numerous events planned downtown. President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson will address the Reykjavík Pride parade on Saturday.
According to RÚV, the festival this year will focus on gay history. Þorvaldur Kristinsson, former director of Reykjavík Pride, told RÚV that one of the most beautiful gay love stories originates in the high school―that of Ólafur Davíðsson, who later became a folklore collector, and Geir Sæmundsson, who was to become a minister and ordination bishop. “They had no name for their love, because they had no point of reference or reality to measure it against.”
Their relationship was very secret and chapters about it were omitted when Ólafur’s diaries were published 60 years ago. Not until 1990 were they finally published.
Times have changed because now, Reykjavík Pride is attended by 70,000 people every year.
Þorvaldur emphasizes that you never know what victories have been won. “I don’t believe human rights and respect are ever guaranteed, and, as a result, gays and lesbians can become scapegoats any time, just like ethnic minorities do.”