Reykjavik Gay Pride parade is the largest festival in Iceland attracting over 100,000 people. It’s widespread acceptance and participation is a way of saying, “in Iceland the whole nation will help you enjoy the freedom of being and celebrate who you are.” Families, children, and elderly line the parade route. All around the city, including at City Hall, the rainbow flags fly high. Streets are painted with rainbow colors. It is apparent from the conversations that this festival is a highlight of the summer for the mainstream population. As we stopped in a various shops and restaurants, we were invited to join in the festivities. And we did.
One pastor stood at the doorway of the church, dressed in a white alb with a rainbow lei around his neck. Waving two rainbow flags in one hand, he used his other hand to make the sign of the cross in the form of a blessing to those who passed by. Many GLBTQ folks have been rejected by the church and have been told to change their ways. This pastor smiled, waved the flags and blessed all of the people who passed by the church door.