A Victory for Diversity
I didn’t watch the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest last night, but my Twitter feed was full of comments by people who did. That’s how I found out who won!
I don’t know what the song was like, but that doesn’t matter at all; the Eurovision Song Contest isn’t about the songs at all. What is important is that Conchita Wurst‘s victory sends out a clear message that there is a world out there that is happy to embrace diversity. Interviewed after the voting, Conchita said “I’m just a singer in a fabulous dress, with great hair and a beard”. That sums it all up, really.
I agree wholeheartedly with the official statement of the Beard Liberation Front:
The Beard Liberation Front the informal network of beard wearers has welcomed the win for Austria’s Conchita Wurst in the Eurovision Song Contest as a victory for a diverse Europe over transphobia and pogonophobia.
The BLF has long campaigned for the right of people to be able to dress and appear as they want.
There will no doubt be those who mock Conchita Wurst (original name Thomas Neuwirth), even within the gay community. But it’s important to remember that the Stonewall Riots of 1969 that galvanised the gay rights movement in the United States into action, paving the way for example to Equal Marriage, began as a fightback against heavy-handed policing that was predominantly led by drag queens. It takes courage to stand up for the right to be different, and in that respect Conchita is an example to inspire us all.
UPDATE: Here’s the official video made in advance of the contest
P.S. I’m pretty sure that this means that Beard of the Year 2014 is now a foregone conclusion….Follow @telescoper