Some of you who know me will know that I occasionally have a distaste for us as a race. We tend to do really stupid things and sometimes make me question our place on the evolutionary ladder.
However, last night’s Eurovision Song Contest proved that we, as a species, have some hope! For those who do not know, Eurovision is a song contest where each European country enters a performer who will sing a song on stage, accompanied by all the usual bells and whistles, and then be voted on by the other European countries using a sort of ranking score system where they tally up the votes in their country and assign them a score of 1 – 8, 10 and 12. I usually do not care that much about the results, but this year was different. Conchita Wurst of Austria, a male-to-female transgender, took the top spot with 290 points, beating back the Netherlands with 238 points and Sweden, the favourites to win it this year, with 218. The song that Conchita performed was called “Rise, Like a Phoenix”, a very James Bond-esque style ballad, which was quite well done.
What does this mean? Well, I do not believe that society as a whole are ready to accept transgender people in the same way as it has grown to accept lesbians, gays and bisexuals, some comments that I have read around have proven that there are still those closed minded individuals who are unable to comprehend the notion of a non-binary gender identity. What it does show, however, is a step in the right direction. In twenty years time, could we be looking back at Eurovision as a turning point in history? Could it be the spark that ignites the fires of acceptance (really cheesy, I know) for the transgender community. This writer certainly hopes so; people should be who they want to be without fear of discrimination or stigmatisation.
What was interesting to see was the animosity towards the Russians. Whilst this is both unsurprising and obvious as to why it happened, I did feel bad for the Tolmachevy sisters who got booed every time a country gave Russia a good number of points, and the Russian representative, who got booed as she gave Russia’s scores out. What is going on in the world is not their fault, nor should they receive negative reactions just because Putin is a jerk.
Also, in case you were wondering, my favourites were, in this order:
Switzerland (did NOT get the recognition they deserved)
I can claim partial national pride for the Netherlands coming in second, being a quarter Dutch. I mean, the UK will never do that well so this is the best I can get!
The scores can be found here, as well as details for all of the acts and videos of the performances.