News24

Mayor opens gay pride in drag

2010-08-06 18:07

Reykjavik – Reykjavik's comedian-turned-politician mayor, Jon Gnarr, opened the Icelandic capital's gay pride festival this week in drag, in a blond wig and with bright red lipstick.

When Gnarr was announced at the festival's opening ceremony on Thursday night, he appeared on stage wearing a floral-print dress over an ample bosom, explaining that "the mayor unfortunately could not attend himself".

Gnarr's party on Friday published photos of the event.

The 43-year-old father of five – known as one of Iceland's top comedians – took over as mayor in June.

His irreverent new Best Party won city council polls after a campaign that advocated free towels in city swimming pools and a polar bear for the zoo.

Clean politics

On a more serious note, it also called for "clean politics", denouncing irresponsible political and financial elites for their role in Iceland's near economic collapse after all the major banks went belly-up at the end of 2008.

The party burst on to Reykjavik's political scene at the beginning of the year, with its candidates broadcasting their campaign pledges in a music video on YouTube to the soundtrack of Tina Turner's Simply the Best.

Iceland became in February 2009 the first country in modern times with an openly gay head of government, when Johanna Sigurdardottir became prime minister.

When the Icelandic parliament in June this year voted to legalise gay marriage, Sigurdardottir and her long-time partner Jonina Ledsdottir were among the first couples to tie the knot.

The Reykjavik Gay Pride festival will run from Thursday to Sunday, with a large parade through the capital scheduled for Saturday.