Eurovision Crowns a Bearded Drag Queen

Conchita Wurst's win called 'victory for tolerance'
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Suggested by RidersOnTheStorm
Posted May 11, 2014 12:51 PM CDT
Eurovision Crowns a Bearded Drag Queen
Austrian singer Conchita Wurst attends a press conference in Vienna, Austria Sunday May 11, 2014.   (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

The Eurovision Song Contest crowned a new winner yesterday, and she is making waves: Austrian singer Conchita Wurst—a bearded drag act who is the alter ego of 25-year-old Thomas Neuwirth—performed "Rise Like a Phoenix," won the trophy, and dedicated her victory "to everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom," reports the BBC. She returned home to Austria today to something of a hero's welcome, notes the AP, with Austrian President Heinz Fischer calling her win "not just a victory for Austria, but above all for diversity and tolerance in Europe." Wurst had been criticized as an example of Western decadence and derided as "the bearded lady," adds RTE, but dismissed critics, saying, "Hey, I'm just a singer in a fabulous dress, with great hair and a beard." (More Conchita Wurst stories.)

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