Páll Óskar: Iceland’s shining Pride Parade star

Photo: Lárus Sigurðarson

Visitors and locals in Iceland are used to mind-blowing sights – hot springs, volcanoes, glaciers… But this Saturday promises something even more special as one Iceland’s most famous and beloved pop icons glides through the streets of Reykjavik as a huge winged silver unicorn!

It is of course Reykjavik’s annual Pride Parade this weekend and, as every year, the many thousands of onlookers will be waiting for the highlight of the camp extravaganza – the arrival of the Páll Óskar float.

Photo: Iceland Monitor

Páll Óskar is one of Iceland’s premier pop artists, with a glittering career already spanning over two decades. Out and proud since the age of sixteen, Páll Óskar has long been a role model for gay people in Iceland and certainly a highlight of the Reykjavik Pride Parade.

Writing for gayiceland.is, Ingibjörg Rósa spoke to Páll Óskar about the symbolism of the unicorn at this year’s parade, his childhood and coming out, and why the Pride parade is as important and relevant as ever.

A household name in Iceland, Páll Óskar may well be known to European music lovers as Iceland’s flamboyant avant-garde representative in the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest.

Photo: Iceland Monitor/Golli

“I think that the whole Pride festival is about being visible,” Iceland’s king of pop tells Ingibjörg. “It’s an organized visibility of queer people, once a year, and I just want to emphasize that by being as visible as I possibly can. I want you to see this massive sculpture even if you’re a whole kilometre away. And I want to make as much noise as possible because for such a long time we were invisible in Icelandic society.”

We can’t wait to see it, P.Ó.!

Photo: Iceland Monitor




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