Q was founded by a group of gay students in the University of Iceland January 19, 1999.
Those years from 1999 to 2007 were tumoltuous for gay legal rights in Iceland, ending with laws implemented in 2007 which gave gay couples rights to adopt children of close kin, to be signed in a civil partnership different but equal to marriage, changes in the system of law to include same sex partnership, to name a few.
During those years, Q was call FSS (organization of gay and lesbian students) and was very active in fighting for gay rights. This included review of proposed laws, fighting for the right of gay men to donate blood (they are still not allowed), organizing gay film festival and working within the University of Iceland to promote equality to all different social groups. FSS took also part in establishing Iceland Gay Pride, which attracts approximately 1/3 of the nation during the second weekend of August.
In the mid 2000’s the organizations goals begun to focus on new projects. In 200? the name was changed to FST (organization of gay, lesbian and bi students) and shortly after in 2008 the name was changed to Q – queer student organization, to be inclusive of all queer sides of life. It is interesting to mention that Q was bi and trans inclusive before the national gay and lesbian organization Samtökin ’78. Recent focus of Q has been Trans inclusiveness and education on heteronormativity and different gender and gender identity representation each individual has.
Q is a student organization and operates most of its educational work within the Uni.Ice. As a student organization it can recieve support from the Student council based on its member list. Members pay a fee of 1000 kr (5.5€) Current members are approximately 80.
Q also works within the national Gay and lesbian organization S’78 by hosting weekly Q nights in the Samtökin’s facilities. Q has also a seat in the confidential committee of the national LGBTQ organization.
The purpose of Q is to give queer students an opportinity to socialize in a safe environment, to give them support and encourage cohesion. Q aims to be a visible force within the University of Iceland on behalf of queer students and to fight for equality and respect, specially converning the topics of: sex, gender identity and sexuality – and to educate students and teachers on these issues.
1. The Social department: The social department holds the members of Q and organizes meetings and regular events such as weekend trips, trips to the theater, conferences, café nights, parties etc. This is without a doubt the most important department of the association because without the members and their unity there would be no association.
2. The Publicity department: The role of the publicity department is to advertise Q within the Universities, invite new members to the association and to make the association notable. The publicity department supervises the mailing lists, the web page, posters and other publicity matters. The department also holds a stand for students rights within and out of the University. It also monitors and encourages research regarding queer people.
3. The International department: The international department was formally established in 2003 and has taken part in many projects. The departments holds all of Q’s contacts with associates from the nordic countries as well as other international communication. The international department plans all international events in our country and sends representatives on behalf of Q to international events.
4. Q-nights: During a board meeting in september 2009 the board of Q decided to begin to host a weekly social event called Q-nights. The decision was taken to strengthen the image of Q and to make the organization more visible within the University of Iceland and within the LGBTQ community.
An agreement was reached with the national gay and lesbian organization that Q would be permitted to host these events at the organizations facility.
A decision was taken that Q nights should all inclusive. That meant they would be advertised with all LGBTQ groups and a balance kept between alchahol and non alcaholic events.
Q nights have turned out to be a big hit, averaging 15-45 people each Friday. Each week a new event is planned. Example of events that have been hosted: Quiz nights, movie nights, coffee nights, game nights and „closet nights“.
Queer Wonderland Conference (August)
The annual ANSO conference which took place in August 2008 was hosted by Icelandic member organization Q in Reykjavik. The title of the conference, Queer Wonderland, hints a future utopia. The aim of the conference was to define this utopian society and thereby define what to strive for in our work with LGBTQ issues. What are we fighting for? What would the perfect queer future be? And what methods can we use to reach it? The 44 members from 11 member organizations came together for a week of intense and enjoyable work in the beautiful country of Iceland.
The overall concept of the Queer Wonderland conference was to create a vision for a queer utopian future. As an inspiration there participants got inputs in forms of lectures and workshops during the week.
Reykjavik Pride (August)
The conference took place during Reykjavik Pride Week and ANSO walked together with Q, the icelandic queer student organization, in the parade also known as the biggest small Pride Parade. Our floater at the Saturday parade was in form of a Queer Travelling Agency; Wonderland Express and our destination was set to a Queer Wonderland. The lucky spectators were given a boarding passwith instructions kindly asking them to leave all their prejudices behind and some information about the conference, heteronormativity, Q and ANSO.
Q celebrated it’s 10th anniversary (January)
Reykjavík Pride (August)
Q participated in Reykjavik Pride. The floater was formed around the question „does it really matter?“ and participants wore t-shirts labeled with questions such as Gay?, BI?, Trans?, Queer?, thus reminding spectators that sexuality and gender identity shouldn’t matter in today’s society.
Q invited the student union of university of Iceland to participate and walk with the float, which they accepted.
Q begins hosting weekly Q-nights every friday at the National gay and lesbian’s facility. These events are all-inclusive social events for young LGBTQ people to meet outside the bar scene.
Study session in Lithuania (November)
Thursday 26th of November two members of Q participated ANSO and other LBGTQ activists in the event „Kissing against homophobia“. The group took on the Lithuanian government and their homophobic legislation through a public kiss-in in front of the parliament! The public kissing was organized as a demonstration against the state homophobia that is violating the human rights of LGBTQ people in Lithuania.
Trans days in the university of Iceland (November)
During the week of 16th to 20th of November, Q organized and hosted an event at the university of Iceland titled „Where is Trans within theUniversity of Iceland.“ The event consisted of three lectures, an information wall, documentary exhibition and a „Gender Bender“ dance. These events were influenced by Transgender day of remembrance.
The three lectures were:
Trans 101: Everything you wanted to know but were to afraid to ask: Hosted by Icelands first individual who openly underwent a male to female operation, Anna Kristjánsdóttir. Anna gave a brief description on the history of Trans people in Europe, and then answered questions from participants about issues such as name changing, attitude towards selfs past and interaction with doctors.
Transgender legal rights, fights, and influences from abroad.: Hosted by the president of „Trans Iceland“ Anna Jonna Ármannsdóttir.
Trans epistemology; How to speak Trans?: Discussion forum where teachers from different devisions in the University of Iceland, along with members of Trans Iceland and Q, spoke on terminology. Questions were raised on how or if it was possible to translate from english to icelandic words such as Trans, without losing context or respect. Who should control the terminology and whose agency would it help/hurt?
Super Gay Q dance (february)
Q organized a queer superhero dance.
Queer weekend (April)
Queer weekend – young people and identity strengthening. A project funded by the Icelandic devision of Council of Europe: European youth foundation http://www.euf.is
To be queer is to be different and being different can be hard. What happens if queer youth is no longer different for a weekend? To have a safe atmosphere where everyone is accepted, or does Icelandic queer youth not feel different at all? These were some of the questions we tried to answer with 17 queer youth.
Reykjavík Pride (August)
Q hosted a parate float in the Reykjavík gay pride around the theme „We are everywhere“.
Equality days in University of Iceland (September)
Q funded a conference on Heteronormativity which was the opening event of equality days within the University of Iceland. The president of Q was also a part of the team which organized equality days.