Ben Leander Willgruber | Visual Designer and Writer

The Highest Gay Holiday: Eurovision Song Contest 2019

As a child, I remember my best friend from elementary school throwing a birthday party on the same day as the Eurovision Song Contest. In this year, Austria actually made it to the grand finale (which doesn’t happen very often). Us kids watched it together and it was one of the first times I saw the show, including all the glitzy, glammy and kitschy performances (see photo of Netta, winner of 2018, below). I don’t know why, but after that, I discovered I was gay.

Just kidding, I knew way before. 

Also not accurate, I thought for a long time, I was bisexual, but that’s another story. Still, I fell in love with the Eurovision Song Contest and the exaggerated show. Honestly, I think most of the music is total crap, but it is just so fun to watch the entrances. It is a truly border-breaking event if you consider that countries like Isreal and Australia compete for some weird reason (watch the video below for a quick laugh!). And as far as I know, the Eurovision song contest is getting more and more popular all over the world, especially in Asia and the USA. So why keep it exclusive? You wanna be part of it? Sure, take England’s spot.

The artists usually aren’t all that popular

Except for Conchita Wurst, who famously won in 2014, the performing artists usually aren’t well known, even in their countries of residence. So, everyone gets to know something new. And there are a lot of (more or less) hidden political messages behind the performances: When drag queen Conchita performed in 2014, Russia threatened not to show her performance. The ESC committee didn’t let that fly: Russia either had to show all the performances or not participate at all. So, the bearded lady was allowed to be broadcasted, even in Russia. Not such a superficial event anymore, is it?

It’s an event to bring people together

For some reason, Eurovision is so popular among the LGBT+ community, you may call it a gay holiday. Is it the pop music, the glitter, the kitsch, the glam – who knows? But something about it makes me happy and I think that’s a great thing, even if it’s over the top and kinda silly. This year, Austria will compete with a singer called PÆNDA. I will link her song below.

Will you watch this year’s show?
And do you have a favorite song/country you root for this year?

Ben

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