Iceland Flashback

As you may remember, this summer Beyond Gay went on an amazing tour in the Nordic Region. Helsinki, Stockholm and Reykjavik all screened the film during their Pride festivals, and I was able to participate at them all. The last stop, Reykjavik Iceland, was one of the most magical Pride experiences I have had in many years. An extra word of thanks to Canada’s ambassador in Iceland, Stewart Wheeler who spearheaded the tour, and joined me on the panel after the screening with other members of  Reykjavik’s queer community. What an incredible group of people I met there. This didn’t feel like a Pride that was “getting back to its roots,”  because I don’t think they’ve ever left them behind. Reykjavik Pride is just one aspect of a community very connected to social justice in general. And to one another.

I was sharing some of my stories with DailyExtra while on the road, and here is what transpired in Iceland.

With Pride,


Close-knit community key to gay-friendly Iceland

Harder to object to gay rights when everyone is connected, say Icelanders

Iceland is an exciting place … (read the whole story)

Innovation Infusion at VIU

Coming up on October 22nd Beyond Gay will be screened at Vancouver Island University, as part of the Innovation Infusion at the World Leisure Centre of Excellence. I was really pleased to learn that the film is being used  in their Department of Tourism and Recreation Management. After the film I’ll be presenting some of my research from SFU on Pride, queer cinema and infusing activism with the power of joy. All the details about when and where are on the poster below. It’s Free! Come Out!

Big Gay Pride Tour Grand Finale!

If you haven’t yet figured it out, this summer I’m the proudest gay on the planet. Last week was Stockholm Pride and it was amazing. What a great city, so many nice people, and great mix of activism and celebration. There’s a lot I can tell you about that, but really that was so last week, I’ve already moved on to Iceland for Reykjavik Pride!

Reykjavik Pride Guide

Once again the the first thing to do is send props out to the Canadian Embassy here for spearheading this whole tour, and in particular the screening which is tonight at 5:00 PM. (Find out more here) After the screening the Canadian Ambassador, Stewart Wheeler, and I will be hosting a discussion. Did you know that Iceland decriminalized homosexuality in 1940? In fact it’s safe to say this little country in a world leader in LGBTIQ rights.  The Pride Guide is 68 pages long! I’ll tell you more about that later too, I have to dash off to the cultural centre to set things up for the screening. Happy Pride from Reykjavik!

Reykjavik Harbour 11PM

Next Stop Stockholm Sweden

The Big Gay European Adventure Continues in Stockholm Sweden. 

Stockholm Pride will be begin July 27th and wrap up on August 1st with the parade and festival. This is the largest Pride festival in the region and I’m excited to see how it unfolds in this very socially progressive country. I am already in Sweden, in Malmo, staying with friends and I’m getting some very interesting insight into the country. Over and over again I’m told that the LGBTQ community is completely accepted and integrated into Swedish society, and that being gay is really a non-issue here, to the point that one person, a Canadian living here, described the LGBTQ community as almost invisible.Here in Malmo there isn’t a gay village, or any clubs, bars or restaurants that cater specifically to the LGBTQ community. I wore my Beyond Gay t-shirt around town the other day, which can usually raise a few eyebrows and second looks in Vancouver; here I got nothing. I’m experiencing something wonderfully relaxing, but I’m still a little skeptical. It’s actually unnervingly accepting, but I’m pretty sure I could get used to it.

Beyond Gay screens on July 29th at 1:00 PM at cinema Klarabiografen (details here) and afterwards we’ll have a panel discussion with the a journalist from SOGI News and the Executive Director of RFSL the Swedish Federation for LGBT rights, which is sponsoring the screening along with the Canadian Embassy. On Thursday at 12:30 PM, the embassy is also hosting a screening of Out of Iran: Iran’s Unwanted Sons and Daughters by Canadian – Iranian filmmaker Farid Haerinejad, and I’ll be participating in the panel that takes place afterwards. This screening is being held in The Canadian Embassy, by invitation only, but if you’re in Stockholm and interested in attending, email me at biggaymovie@gmail.com and we can get you on the guest list. Once again I am so impressed with all the efforts the Canadian embassy in Stockholm is making to ensure that Pride here addresses social justice and LGBTQ rights around the globe. On Saturday we’ll march for those who can’t, and celebrate how far we’ve come. I’ll tell you all about it after I get some sleep.

With Pride,