I am thrilled that Conchita has won the Eurovision Song Contest. Having a contestant who does not conform with gender stereotypes is one thing, but the fact that she won feels like a real victory. It sends a strong message of acceptance across Europe, which is particularly pertinent given the anti-LGBTQ laws that have recently been put in place in Russia. Congratulations Conchita and thank you for a fabulous acceptance speech!
Austrian bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst won the 59th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday with a James Bond-inspired entry that had unleashed a wave of protests in eastern Europe before the competition. The power ballad, "Rise Like a Phoenix," helped Wurst — the alter ego of 25-year-old Thomas Neuwirth — secure Austria's second victory in the competition with 290 points. The country also won in 1966. "This is dedicated to everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom," a tearful Wurst said as she accepted the trophy from Denmark's Emmelie de Forrest, who won the contest last year. "We are unity."