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Advice for LBGT travelers

Given the Faroe Islands’ remoteness, one might expect the Faroese to be less aware of LGBT issues than their Nordic neighbours. However, the islands are home to a powerful LGBT movement that has driven a sea of change in attitudes towards homosexuality and other LGBT issues in recent years. Following years of public activism, laws were introduced in 2006 which banned hate-speech based on sexual orientation. Since that time, life has vastly improved for LGBT citizens in the Faroe Islands.

In April 2016 – on a vote of 19-14 – the Faroe Islands Parliament approved the adoption of Denmark’s same-sex matrimonial laws. The only difference compared to the Danish law is that the Faroese state church is not obliged to take part in same-sex wedding unless they choose to themselves. Same-sex marriages came into effect in the Faroe Islands in 2017. Same-sex adoptions also became legal the same year. New regulations and public guidelines to improve the lives of transgendered people in the Faroe Islands have already been introduced and a new bill that will make it easier for a transgendered person to legally change their sex without invasive surgery and castration has been introduced to parliament in 2018.

PRIDE CELEBRATIONS

Public support for the local LGBT movement is most evident at Faroe Pride which always takes place on 27 July, the day before the national holiday Ólavsøka. Around 10% of the population take part in the annual parade. The parade is a lively community-building event and is followed by a free concert featuring the biggest names in music from the Faroe Islands. There is also an annual Faroe Islands Minority Film Festival that usually takes places in the autumn. Visit their website for more current information.

NIGHTLIFE

LGBT people are welcome to enjoy Tórshavn´s often lively nightlife as LGBTI people should feel safe and welcomed in every club and bar in the Faroe Islands. While there are no explicitly designated gay or lesbian bars or nightclubs in the Faroe Islands, the hip and trendy nightclub bar Sirkus Føroyar is openly gay-friendly and frequently hosts LGBT events as well as the annual Pride After-party.

If you would like to learn more about LGBT life in the Faroe Islands or what current events are on, please contact the national LGBT organization, LGBT Føroyar, directly at [email protected] or visit their website or their Facebook page.

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