Conchita Wurst Says Eurovision Win Was A Victory For People Who Believe In A Future Without Discrimination

The 'bearded lady' drag act also confirmed that her speech was aimed at 'certain politicians'. In other words: Putin


by Sophie Wilkinson |
Published on

You might have noticed that, over the weekend, a bearded drag act (by the name of Conchita Wurst) won the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen – and it was incredible.

Explaining in her winning speech, 'This night is dedicated to everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom. You know who you are. We are unity, and we are unstoppable', Conchita Wurst'ssymbolic mission was to upset those Russians who have banned 'gay propaganda' from their country. Owing to an actual law – in place to stop gay people recruiting children (weird that, because they're gay, not paedophiles) – gay people have to be silent about their sexualities or face being further stigmatised, and the government, led by Vladimir Putin, has basically given the thumbs up to any would-be vigilantes looking to kick someone's head in just because they're different.

Now Conchita says her work won't stop after Saturday night's success, but rather she'll continue this fight for tolerance after returning to her homeland of Austria – for whom she won the first Eurovision Song Contest in 48 years. The 25-year-old singer – real name Tom Neuwirth – was met by more than 1,000 fans at the airport, some with beards drawn on or waving the Austrian flag. She (that's what she prefers to go by, just FYI) told reporters that tolerance: 'Will remain an issue for a long time and I fear I won't see the end of it in my lifetime. It will be my life's worth and I gladly take it on. It was not just a victory for me but a victory for those people who believe in a future that can function without discrimination and is based on tolerance and respect.'

Conchita also clarified for anyone who wasn't sure that whilst she didn't name and shame in her winning speech on Saturday night – which was, incredibly, broadcast across all of Russia – it was meant for someone very specific: 'That was obviously meant for certain politicians whom we all know.'

When the nail-biting results section of the contest came along, Russia was booed at every single opportunity. But, as much as the Russia press derided Conchita Wurst, those voting at home actually awarded Austria third place and Russian journalist Dmitry Babich went on Radio 4 this morning to insist that a lot of people in Moscow are 'happy' that Conchita won. So it's pretty clear that a lot of Russians appreciated Conchita's message. Or, perhaps, Russian homophobes aren't exactly going to watch Eurovision, let alone vote in the contest.

Either way, there's no denying that it's a very important symbolic win. A massive 'F you' to the haters. And a massive surge for the popularity of beards, no doubt.

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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