Conchita Wurst wins 2014 Eurovision song contest

With the 2014 Eurovision song contest coming to a close this year, it has proven to be the ultimate FU to all the skeptics, critics and non-believers of transgender progression.
The Eurovision song contest is a musical competition throughout Europe that consists of 38 countries of which only 26 head off into the finale. Each year, all of Europe tunes in to watch and to vote for their favorite acts outside of their own country. The winners not only gets the microphone trophy and gets to bring glory back to their country, but also get to host the competition in the next year.
After the victorious win of Denmark’s Emmelie de Forest in Sweden last year, the 2014 song contest was held in Copenhagen. The three day event went on without a hitch in Copenhagen, continuing to be better than the previous year.
In the finale when all the performers representing the final 26 countries performed, the voting opened up for all of Europe. Each country is allowed to allocate their point system from one to eight, 10 and 12. In each country, the performer that got the most votes gets the highest rank possible: 12 points. Second place gets 10, third gets eight and so on in rankings from points eight to one.
With the exception of some, each country gave incredible performances, my favorite being Romania, Armenia, Greece and Sweden. To say I was surprised when Romania did not win after giving an magical performance including holograms and an infinity piano along with amazing vocalists that are Eurovision alumn would be an understatement. Being of Armenian descent, I surprised even myself when I wished that Romania would take Armenia’s fourth place victory.
The rest of Europe did not agree with me however, and it appears they did not agree by a long shot when Romania got twelfth place. What shocked me even more than my favorite contestants losing was the results of the final votes. Calculated to win after the first seven countries voted ,due to a majority number one rank, Austria took first place by a landslide.
But what does Austria winning Eurovision have to do with transgender progression in Europe? Absolutely everything. Austria sent Conchita Wurst to Eurovision 2014 in Copenhagen, a bearded woman with a vocal ability that can be compared to some of the greatest artists this world has ever seen. But when you pay closer attention, you realize that Conchita Wurst is actually Thomas Neuwirth, an openly gay 25-year-old Austrian singer who created the persona of Conchita Wurst, never expecting to take her to such great lengths.
Austria’s win in the contest not only solidified Eurovision’s capacity at being a true song and vocal contest by overlooking everything but the lyrics, performance and vocals but also created a worldwide debate. Only minutes after the airing of the yearly, long awaited program, the web was buzzing and so was every late night talk show host in all of Europe. Some were completely accepting of Europe’s number one pick, and others were appalled. The words “freak” and “unnatural” were never in short supply.
Some argued that Conchita’s performance spoke for itself, earning her the first place position. Others could not overlook her appearance, stating that no matter how great of a vocalist she is, it was not fair to judge her among women when Conchita was a man.
Whatever their opinions, it seemed that every country was a little upset that they had lost, but they did not recognize that which they had won. Conchita’s performance although unorthodox, opened up that pathway for transgender men and women to perform in Eurovision which had only once been done before, but never won.
With all the hate that comes out of Russia with the new gay and lesbian laws, I think it’s good that there is progress in Europe for other countries to see as an example and to follow. It’s still in the workings but I predict a more open and accepting Europe, including Russia.

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