Páll Óskar, the Icelandic representative in the1997 Eurovision Song Contest, has participated in every single Reykjavík Pride parade. And, being the sparkling person that he is, he never fails to impress. Last year he sailed through the streets of the Icelandic capitol on the back of a huge, sparkling white swan!
When it‘s time for this year‘s parade, he will be sailing through downtown Reykjavik again, but this time in a real size pink viking ship. Yes, you read that right. A real size. Pink. Viking ship.
The idea, Páll Óskar tells gayiceland.is, is to pay respect to all the queens who have been silenced throughout the centuries in Iceland, ever since settlement.
Ethnologist and historian Særún Lísa Birgisdóttir has researched old, Icelandic manuscripts, starting with the settlement of Iceland, looking for any mention of gay people. „The few things she found were nicknames, terms of abuse and strange descriptions of beardless men and manly women,“ explains Páll Óskar. “What struck me in Særún’s research was the almost total silence surrounding the history of gay people in Iceland, their lives and feelings. She could barely find anything on the matter until around the second world war. It is as Icelandic gay men suddenly woke up in WWII and realized they had these emotions, these feelings, that they could have sex, fall in love with other men and be loved back.”
So Páll Óskar decided to honor all the gays who have been silenced in Iceland throughout the centuries, and is calling his act “The Settlement Queens”. His ship‘s crew, as he describes it, will consist of „a Queen of the mountains who is a symbol for Iceland, a Queen of the flag, a Brunhilde, an Irish slave queen and then there will be the most queen-like Vikings you will ever see. Those queens are all mad about being silenced for all these years.”
One thing you won‘t see on board this viking ship though, is bare tits and asses. Páll Óskar explains this decision; „Respect the Pride parade enough not to show your bare ass. I know I have a great ass and I look fabulous in leather but that is something I am not displaying to five-year olds who come to see the Pride parade with their grandmothers. Additionally I have to admit I find it a bit odd to pull your pants down and at the same time demand respect.”
It‘s very important to Páll Óskar that children are welcome to watch the Reykjavík Pride parade. It‘s a way of showing children that queer people aren‘t strange or suspicious, they‘re just another part of the color spectrum.
We will be back with pictures from the Reykjavík Pride parade, where you will see this viking ship and its queens in their full glory. We will also see what other Eurovision people/personalities we can catch on the streets of the Icelandic capital on this wonderful day of celebrating all the colors of the rainbow!