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  1. I´m female and heterosexual.
    Gay men and lesbian women are neither worse nor better than heterosexual human beings.
    Therefore I can´t understand „the fear“ of some people here, that the ESC will be seen as a community of gay people.

    My english is weak, so in a nutshell: I truly love Conchita for what she is. And love you, Garrett for sharing this article already months before Conchita´s victory, for your support and for who you are.

  2. I came across this article when I was looking up who this amazing journalist was who has interviewed Conchita with such respect and eloquence on several occasions. Your interviews with her, Garret, have really stood out and now that I also read this touching story of yours, I can understand even better why… I am so sorry about your friend’s destiny but at the same time I’m confident you were a great friend to him.

    I am writing this from Finland – one of the two (I believe) countries that gave Conchita 12 points both through televoting and jury and I’m so happy about this fact. I lost my heart to Conchita the first time I saw her – which in my case was just before ESC 2014 but I shall be following her career from now on and I’m so happy and touched to witness her triumph now. I wish all the best for her, she really is an inspiration.

    I’m a mother of two, don’t belong to any minority worth mentioning, but I’m a firm believer in human rights, equality etc. Conchita has also given me an opportunity to talk with my son, 4,5 years old, about a person’s free will to look what they like, gender issues etc. Besides, he thinks she’s pretty and likes the song 😉 I’m happy that I get to raise my kids in a world that is at least a tiny bit more tolerant and accepting.

    Anyways, thanks again Garret for the lovely interviews with Conchita, for sharing this article that brought tears to my eyes and for your work in general. I would love to see Conchita in Finland – any connections here maybe? 😀

    • Oh my word. Thank you SO MUCH Iiris for your very kind words. They truly warmed my heart when reading them. I am in such awe of you speaking to your son on this key issue. I know that Conchita would be so touched by your actions as that is where she sees our future – education of tolerance and to be the best person you can be.

      I truly thank you again for your kind words though all the praise is for Conchita.

      kiitos xx

    • You see, Liris, I’m sure, in last times people will get mad and do all kinds of disgastful things. God never blessed and never talked positively about homosexuals and lesbians, even when some church people promote this thing. They don’t know God. The Bible sais (Romans, chapter 1):

      1:21 Because, having the knowledge of God, they did not give glory to God as God, and did not give praise, but their minds were full of foolish things, and their hearts, being without sense, were made dark.

      1:24 For this reason God gave them up to the evil desires of their hearts, working shame in their bodies with one another:

      1:26 For this reason God gave them up to evil passions, and their women were changing the natural use into one which is unnatural:

      1:27 And in the same way the men gave up the natural use of the woman and were burning in their desire for one another, men doing shame with men, and getting in their bodies the right reward of their evil-doing.

      1:32 Who, though they have knowledge of the law of God, that the fate of those who do these things is death, not only go on doing these things themselves, but give approval to those who do them.

      These are God’s words, and they never change.

  3. hi garrett..
    as soon as i know where to get tickets.. ill be in front of the row..!!
    whenever you feel like having Mozartkugel or some drink in Salzburg.. let me know !!
    i Keep watching your Posts and Videos .. still brings tears to my eyes.. im a great fan of all of you..!!
    and there is a lot of Conchita-Specials on tv right now… so we Keep the Party going on till 2015 !! def. a must for all of us ..
    of course we will meet.. lol.. you are cute !!
    hugs Christian

  4. Very touching post, Garrett. Times are definitely changing, although in many cases unfortunately not fast enough. I sincerely hope that Conchita’s appearance and victory at Eurovision will give strength and hope to those who need it.

  5. Very touching post, Garrett. Times are definitely changing, although in many cases unfortunately not fast enough. I sincerely hope that Conchita’s appearance and victory at Eurovision will give strength and hope to those who need it.

  6. I guess I’m a bit late to comment on this article, but maybe someone will still read my comment and find it interesting (or… well, at least not a complete waste of time to read it). I’m a 50+ hetero male from Austria and would like to add a few things to the comments above. First of all: I’ve always been a fan of the ESC and the Grand Prix Eurovision de la Chanson. The last time we won this competition was 1966 (when I was 3 years old) and there was nothing gay about it at all. In fact, even 10 years later I didn’t even know what “gay” is. It wasn’t something that you even could talk about. Many years have gone by and the ESC changed a lot. If there is a stereotype that says that ESC is (meanwhile) only for gay people, than I will start another stereotype: That argument is spreaden by macho men who love the ESC, but don’t dare to tell anybody. 🙂

    Seriously, there have been sexistic songs, hard rock songs, boring dingeling songs, big ballads and so much more. But I never felt that ESC is in any way gay.

    Now, the article is breathtaking and touching. Like you I read a lot of stupid and hateful stuff about Conchita and often I was tempted to respond, but it’s pretty difficult to have good arguments in a foreign language. But this article made me say “Yes, right!” after every single paragraph. Soooo, thank you very much for it (especially because you wrote it months before Conchita’s triumph).

    This leads to the last thing I wanted to tell you: When Conchita was elected to represent Austria at the ESC 2014 there were all sorts of Austrian VIPs telling the media what they think about it. Some of them (mainly politicians) surprised me, because they were “brave” enough to support her from the start, like for example our President Heinz Fischer. And some (mainly artists) surprised me in a negative way, because they were much more closed-minded (or just jealous?) than I would have thought. And most of the non-VIPs I talked to said something like “I don’t care if she has a beard or not” and “We’re not going to win this, but at least she will drag attention to herself”. It was almost the same feeling when we sent Alf Poier who is in fact a little crazy. 🙂

    And I personally loved and still love the song, but to be very honest: I never expected it to win. Therefore, I am sooo happy for all the Pat’s out there who hopefully find a little hope in this song. And for me this song is like a little brick on Dominio Day. If all this bricks one day have fallen we will see a peaceful world where nobody has to be afraid to live in a certain country, with a certain religion, skin color or whatever.

    One last line (promised!): Garrett Mulhall, I love your interviews, your articles and your entire work! Best wishes from Vienna, Austria.

    • Andreas – Can i just say thank you so much for your truly heartfelt comments. I can say that you have just made my day. You have no idea how many death threats I received personally for making our videos with Conchita but we were proud to stand side by side with her on her amazing journey. It is so wonderful when we receive such kind words from readers. A huge thank you from all the team here at Eurovision Ireland and see you in Vienna next year Andreas. Thank you – Garrett

    • I read this, yet. It´s very touching and so well written. I would leave a comment, but obviously I´m speechless.
      In a nutshell – I truly love Conchita, love you Garrett for your empathy and love you Andreas Steinbach for the above commentary.

  7. Can you believe it ??
    We won !!
    Conchita Rules !!! All the best to all of you … Im very proud to be Austrian Right Now..
    Hugs Christian

  8. A truly touching story of your dear friend who just wanted to be himself. Thank you for sharing this piece and I pray it will open the minds of all watching the Eurovision in May. I think Black Forest Gateaux will always be a lovely reminder of Pat too.

  9. Well, the story might be touching, and give food for thoughts. And yeah, we shoulkd be tolerant, liberal, accepting and all that jazz…Yes, we should actually. I’m not ironcal!Yet – I HATE the idea of CW representing Austria in ESC! Was so overjoyed when she (yep, it’s a she!) failed to win the Austrian final of 2012…and now this. Well, as the saying goes. Personal progress is a bliss, but other people’s failure is quite nice too! 🙂 Not that I wish her (or anyone really….) “failure” as such. Or have anything AGAINST her. Nor do I have anything against transgenders (or drags…or for that sake gays / lesbians / bisexuals) in general.I have one single point to make – but it’s certainly valid enough. This is JUST what gives fuel to the silly myths / stereotypes around ESC. That it’s a “gay thing”, only “gays” love ESC, it’s a gay contest for gay singers etc…Gay or not. ESC does not benefit from it. I don’t mind that many male fans are gay – by far not all though. Fair enough. But I think ESC should be INCLUSIVE. Which some would consider a contradiction, given my generally negative view on CW for Austria. But not really! 🙂 It just sort of confirms rather stale and undeveloping stereotypes as ESC as “something gay”. OK – maybe I’m paranoid – BUT my “fear” is that in the end people will almost think that “if you are male and love ESC, you are gay”, “thanks” to such acts. It’s a stupid prejudice of course, but I think that what suchs acts do. And seriously – with all respect how seriously can we expect voters to take a singer with a female voice / looks with a beard? Honestly…I think there have not been a more certain non-qualifier BEFORE we even know the song EVER. Juries will not like it, and many televoters might laugh at it. Sorry….for those holding their hopes high. Of course, it might be it’s a cracker of a song, and it’s the song that counts. But – esp. as she will probably go for some crappy “selfdefending” lyrics as well! – , I strongly feel my wooden spoon for 2014 is resvered for the land of Sachertorte and Gregor Schlirenzauer….

    • “My “fear” is that in the end people will almost think that “if you are male and love ESC, you are gay”, “thanks” to such acts.”

      Then that’s their problem (and yours). There are all sorts of acts in the contest and always will be. It’s their fault (and yours) if you decide to make sweeping generalisations.

    • Epilogue – I love that it’s now 2014 and that she won. With an excellent performance and a great song. Rather than laughing, countries across Europe embraced her!!

  10. What a touching story, and so well written. Thank you so much for sharing! I always liked Conchita and always thought of her act as an enrichment. You also mentioned Dana International, I still firmly believe that her victory in 1998 was Eurovision’s finest moment – at all means, it was one of the happiest moments of my life. To me, people like Dana International and Conchita Wurst are heroes, standing up against ignorance and hate, standing up for who they are. I look up to them.

  11. Thank you Garrett for such a touching piece. I was so disappointed that Conchita did not make it to Baku – she should certainly have done so and I thought it was a fixed result for the Trakshittaz. But I too am so pleased that she will be competing in Copenhagen and carrying the torch for people who are just a little different.

    • No, thank you Martin for your kind words. Totally agree with you that it is great to see an artist that is a little different at the contest. Everyone should have a voice and a chance to represent their country

  12. Beautifully written piece. So excited to see Ms. Wurst at Eurovision! Her cover of My Heart Will Go On was stunning.

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