Austria Hub




UN Secretary-General Praises Conchita Wurst and Her Human Rights Advocacy

Un

This morning in Vienna, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hosted a meeting with Eurovision's Conchita Wurst. Reunters reports Secretary-General Ban praised Wurst for her talent, as well as what she represents from a human rights perspective.

Despite the UN's somewhat uneven track record on gay issues, this news is the latest in a consistant trend of good news for LGBT people out of the U.N.

Secretary-General Ban thanked Wurst for turning Eurovision into a "moment of human rights education." 

Said Ban: 

This year I extended benefits to same-sex partners of U.N. staff members... Discrimination has no place in the United Nations...When I heard that [Wurst] won this Eurovision song contest I immediately knew that she was a star of the world.

Reuters points out Ban's endorsement is particularly meaningful at a time when global tensions over LGBT issues are rising. They quote a confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who criticized Wurst, saying she symbolised "ethno-fascism," and a "decadent agenda" that the West tries to impose. 

[photo via Twitter]


Eurovision Winner Conchita Wurst Stuns With A Live Performance Of Cher's 'Believe' - VIDEO

Conchita wurst believe live

Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst gave a stunning performance of Cher’s Believe on live Austrian TV show Starnacht am Woerthersee on Saturday night.

Conchita was also interviewed and performed her Eurovision-winning song Rise Like A Phoenix.

Watch both performances, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Eurovision Winner Conchita Wurst Stuns With A Live Performance Of Cher's 'Believe' - VIDEO" »


Gay Austrian Politician Attacked with Acid at Pride Parade

Lunacek

Austria's first openly gay politician, Ulrike Lunacek, was attacked with acid at Vienna's Rainbow Parade on Friday, The Local reports:

An unknown assailant sprayed butyric acid at the politician as she was giving an interview on the sidelines of the parade. Lunacek and the interview team were not injured.

The acid damaged the Greens MP's clothes and the camera equipment. According to police spokeswoman Barbara Riehs, the acid caused around €50,000 worth of damage to the electronic equipment. The attacker had not yet been found on Sunday.

Organizers said more than 150,000 people were at the parade which circumnavigates the city's historic downtown area.

Said Lunacek:

"Never before has there been an attack at the Rainbow Parade," said Lunacek at the end of the event at Vienna's City Hall. These kinds of isolated cases showed that the fight for tolerance, acceptance and respect in Austria was not over. People who spread fear and hate needed to be opposed, she added. Homosexuals and transgender people needed to combat fear and show that they were not only part of society, but at the centre of it."

Lunacek (pictured in green on the float, below) tweeted on Monday: "Commitment for equality + EU strategy gg. Homophobia continues unabated. Thank you for support!"


Eurovision 2014 Host Pilou Asbaek Was Banned From Wearing Rainbow Colors Because It Was ‘Too Political’

Host

One of the hosts from Eurovision 2014, actor and director Pilou Asbaek, has revealed that Eurovision organizers banned him from wearing rainbow colors during the broadcast because it would be “too political.” The Independent reports that Asbaek wanted to wear the rainbow colors in protest of anti-gay laws in Europe:

"I asked them if I can wear rainbows. No. We're not allowed to be political. It's about music, not politics.”

He went onto say: “But music and politics, you cannot divide them. Not in my mind.” 

Though Asbaek was not allowed to visually demonstrate his support for LGBT rights at this year’s Eurovision, there was ample evidence of support for LGBT equality among the crowd at the competition in Copenhagen:

Members of the audience in the B&W Halls in Copenhagen, Denmark were seen waving rainbow flags during the evening. Meanwhile the Icelandic entry Pollapoenk sang a song called 'No Prejudice', which called for equality for all.

This year’s Eurovision contest notably saw the victory of drag performer Conchita Wurst of Austria. Wurst has sadly been criticized for her gender identity, being called “it” by Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky and a “pervert” by Vitaly Milonov, the author of Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law. However, despite the criticism from prominent Russian figures, Wurst’s track, “Rise Like a Phoenix,” has risen to the top of the iTunes charts in Russia following her win. 

In case you missed it, you can watch Wurst's winning performance HERE


Victorious Conchita Wurst Arrives Home in Austria: VIDEO

Posse_conchita

Bearded drag performer Conchita Wurst arrived home in Vienna after winning the Eurovision Song Contest over the weekend to a massive crowd of supporters at the airport.

Watch Conchita's victory lap and Eurovision press conference, AFTER THE JUMP...

Attitude reports that the track is at the top of Russia's charts:

Conchita Wurst’s Eurovision winner is currently the most downloaded track on Russian iTunes. Rise Like a Phoenix, which romped to victory at the annual Song Contest on Saturday (May 10) by 52 points, is now number one on the ‘Top Singles’ countdown on Russia’s iTunes store. Armenia’s entry Not Alone sits at number three on Russian iTunes, while the Swedish, German and Russian Eurovision songs also occupy spots in the top ten.

Continue reading "Victorious Conchita Wurst Arrives Home in Austria: VIDEO" »


Russian Politicians, Rapper Attack Conchita Wurst's Eurovision Win

Eurovision12n-4-web
Not everyone is celebrating Conchita Wurst's incredible win at last night's Eurovision Song Contest finale. Several Russian politicians expressed their outrage soon after Wurst was bestowed with her award.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin took to Twitter writing that it "showed supporters of European integration their European future: a bearded girl."

According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, another Russian politician, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, also voiced his disapproval with his own anti-gay remarks.

"There's no limit to our outrage. It's the end of Europe. It has turned wild. They don't have men and women any more. They have 'it'. Fifty years ago the Soviet army occupied Austria. We made a mistake in freeing Austria. We should have stayed."

Timati_2012The outrage wasn't limited to pols. Popular Russian rapper Timati also attacked Wurst with his own disgusting remarks calling her win a "mental illness of contemporary society...I wouldn't like one fine day to have to explain to my child why two guys are kissing or a woman is walking round with a dyed beard and that's supposed to be normal."

In that same hateful message, Timati also thanked Vladimir Putin for his continued efforts to ban gay pride parades in Moscow.

According to the AFP, Wurst explained who she intended to target with her victorious cry of "We are unity, and we are unstoppable."

"That was obviously meant for certain politicians whom we all know,” she explained in Vienna. Asked if she meant Russian President Vladimir Putin, who last year signed a law banning “gay propaganda”, she replied coyly “among others."

Wurst was warmly welcomed home to Austria today and held a press conference in Vienna, which you can watch in its entirety, AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Russian Politicians, Rapper Attack Conchita Wurst's Eurovision Win" »


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged