On September 5, multiple outlets (including this one) ran stories that claimed Iceland’s president Guðni Jóhannesson wore an “LGBT Pride bracelet” during his meeting with Vice President Mike Pence in Reykjavík last week. But after further inspection, that doesn’t seem to be the case. The Guardian ran an article which cited a tweet from White House correspondent and Bloomberg reporter Justin Sink, stating: “…also, Iceland‘s President Jóhannesson wore a rainbow bracelet (as he did while meeting with Putin) during photo op with Pence today.”
A few days after publishing the original article for DeadState and citing the Guardian as a source, I looked back at the photo and started to doubt this narrative. After doing some digging, I came across a Reddit post that featured a photo of Jóhannesson shaking Pence’s hand with the caption: “Iceland President Jóhannesson brilliantly wearing an LGBT bracelet during Mike Pence visit.” In the comments, someone mentioned that the bracelet is actually from an Icelandic organization called Kraftur, which is an organization for young people diagnosed with cancer (Jóhannesson’s father died of cancer at the young age of 42).
Closer inspection of the photo, and others taken during the meeting, show that Jóhannesson is indeed wearing a bracelet that looks similar to a bracelet featured on Kraftur’s website.
Another image of Jóhannesson, posted on the Icelandic news outlet the Iceland Monitor, shows him clearly wearing a Kraftur bracelet, not an LGBT-themed “rainbow” bracelet as other outlets claimed.
While pointing out that the bracelet is indeed from Kraftur, the Iceland Monitor states that “Jóhannesson and First Lady Eliza Reid both wore rainbow colored bracelets when they received the vice president and his wife,” but that narrative does not match up with any of the photos I’ve seen. Photos of Iceland’s First Lady that were circulated show her wearing bracelets that aren’t easily distinguishable. News outlets such as the Independent, The Washington Times, Pink News, the Advocate, HuffPost, and others ran with the rainbow bracelet narrative as well.
If anyone has any information to add to this correction, or if there’s any clear photographic evidence of either Jóhannesson or his wife wearing rainbow Pride bracelets during their meeting with Pence, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image via screen grab/The White House