Iceland is well known for its beautiful scenery, huge glaciers, and ancient volcanos. It’s a unique place that often makes it onto the majority of bucket lists.
We had the pleasure of spending a week in Iceland together as a lesbian couple and experienced no form of discrimination during our time there.
This is predominantly due to the fact that the majority of Icelandic citizens are open and accepting of people regardless of their sexuality.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that no forms of discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community take place. Instead, it’s simply that any reports of discrimination towards members of the LGBTQ+ community are increasingly rare.
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Is Being Gay & Lesbian Legal In Iceland?
Iceland is the second-highest-scoring country on the World Equaldex Index (with the Isle of Man coming first).
This World Index polls citizens on the legal rights and freedoms LGBTQ+ people have.
However, while the LGBTQ+ community is incredibly well accepted socially within Iceland there are still some areas of concern.
That’s because conversion therapy is still legal here, and gay individuals are sadly still not permitted to donate blood.
However, the LGBTQ+ community who live and visit Iceland, will receive protection from any discrimination and have the same legal rights as anyone else within the country.
Is Being Trans Legal In Iceland?
Over the past couple of years, Iceland has passed a significant amount of legislation surrounding transgender individuals.
Most notably, for those who wish to reassign their gender, the process is supported and legally recognised, meaning you are able to fully reassign your gender without any legal repercussions.
Meanwhile, transgender people are able to openly express their views and will not face any legal action against the discussion or promotion of LGBTQ+ topics.
Public Displays Of Affection & LGBTQ Social Acceptance
Public displays of affection are relatively common in Iceland and given the fact that on average 84% of Icelandic citizens are accepting of the LGBTQ+ community should you choose to display any public forms of affection during your trip you’re unlikely to experience discrimination.
During our week-long stay in Iceland, we received no noticeable forms of discrimination nor had any questions or changes when booking a room with a double bed for two females.
LGBTQ+ Friendly Places In Iceland
Despite Iceland being one of the smallest countries in the world with a population of just over 320,000 people the country still has an active LGBTQ+ community and plenty of places to add to your Iceland itinerary.
While Iceland has a number of cities, it’s the capital city of Reykjavik where you’ll experience the majority of the tourist action.
There’s a wide array of accommodations, restaurants, stores, bars and clubs here all of which are LGBTQ+ friendly.
For nightlife that includes live music, poetry nights and drag shows we recommend checking out Pjóðleikhúskjallarinn which can be found in the depths of the National Theatre.
During the daytime, however, be sure to visit Skólavörðustígur, which is home to the world-famous Rainbow Street.
Gay Pride In Iceland
If you’re looking to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community then your best heading to Reykjavik in August. This is where Iceland’s main pride event is held each year.
Take part in the annual pride event which has been going on since 1999. Although a small parade, the pride event attracts a decent crowd, and you’ll be able to parade alongside like-minded people to celebrate the LGBTQ+ communities in Iceland.
If you’re visiting Iceland you might hear the term Hinsegin Dagar which translates to ‘Queer Days’.
Queer Days is used to describe the events that take place in and around the city of Reykjavik in the lead-up to the main Pride Parade. These events include concerts, drag shows and LGBTQ+ movies.
The majority of the events held are family friendly and you’ll be able to see the LGBTQ+ community come together with their families to show their support.