I did some talking with my lovely Icelandic friend and found that, as we suspected, there HAVE been some seriously racist policies in the past here in Iceland.  She also confirmed the existence of prejudiced attitudes and discrimination in the daily lives of Icelandic POC.

BUT THE POLICY — Damn.  So the U.S. has, as I mentioned in one of my last posts, maintained a military presence in Iceland between the years of 1944 – 2004.  During the early 50’s Iceland banned the presence of black soldiers to “protect Icelandic women and to preserve a homogeneous national body.”  This practice was in place until the early 1960’s

But seriously this national purity bunk is some white supremacist shit

Also – I was wrong is stating that there is just one prison.  There is one main facility but there are separate, smaller facilities.  The “high” security prison has a max capacity of 45 people.

There are  two “open” prisons that house a maximum of 38 people. Another couple of “medium” security prisons house up to 28 people and then the “low” security prison can house up to 10 folks.

While one of the medium security prisons is designated as the women’s prison, due to low rates of female incarceration it is typically used to house men and women simultaneously.

For a total max capacity of 121 persons.

Also – I mentioned the acceptance of the LGBTQ community and how open Iceland is towards equal rights (if not justice) but I started to realize that I had never seen one specific mention of the trans* community.  It’s a small country but there are surely trans* folks, right? So I did a search through the GrapeVine to see if there had been any articles written on the subject —

Being Transgender in Iceland

Also – as of June 27th 2012 the Transgender Rights Legislation passed. This bill was created “to ensure that transgender people receive equal treatment before the law, in harmony with human rights. The law also secures a provision of necessary medical treatments, both the diagnosis of gender identity disorder and the corrective surgery”

Transgender Rights Legislation Passed!!

I was pleased to see that there is new legislation afoot:

The bill’s aim is twofold: to provide individuals with gender identity disorder protection under the law in concordance with other minority groups that also need special protection, but also to adhere to Iceland’s upcoming validation of the Council of Europe’s protocol regarding computer-related crimes. “

New Bill to Strengthen Rights of Transgender People in Iceland!!

Also I was made aware of this excellent resource for LGBTQ folks traveling in Iceland

Gay Ice!!!