It’s Time To Get Over The Eurovision


Conchita Wurst may have struck a blow for queer visibility at The Eurovision, but Rob Buchanan thinks the hoard of homosexuals who love the song contest aren’t very good gays at all.


The recent headline-grabbing victory of Conchita Wurst at the Eurovision is a welcome milestone for LGBT visibility, but I’d be a liar if I said I viewed the Eurovision as anything other than a tedious annual celebration of camp.

In fact, I’ll be blunt. I fucking hate the Eurovision. I hate the vapid music, I hate the saccharine spectacle, I hate the inane gobbledygook it saturates my TV and Facebook timeline with, but perhaps what I hate most about it is when my queer mates inevitably say: “Oh, you don’t you like Eurovision? You’re a terrible gay!”

No I’m not a terrible gay. I’m a frustrated gay. I’m frustrated at the amount of energy and passion that can be mobilised in our community for something so trivial, when we are second class citizens in our own country and our own kind are being imprisoned and stoned to death across the world and we do fuck all about it.

What is the root cause of this celebration of the banal? Why are some adult gay men so uncomfortable with grown-up causes that directly affect their lives that they must hide blissfully behind trash-pop culture? Why do people think loving the Eurovision is something to be proud of?

No doubt me asking that question will make some people angry. In fact I have actually been accused of homophobia because I slag the Eurovision off. I’ve also been found guilty of other cardinal sins against the Gay God by saying I don’t like certain clothes, films or entertainers that are generally loved by queers. The irony of all this, of course, is I am hardly the most butch queer in the world. I go out on the scene. I am partial to the occasional red wine and shaking my arse to Rihanna. The point is that I do not stick my fingers in my ears the minute the news comes on.

When the camera pans across the audiences at the Eurovision, all you see are screaming gangs of gays, yet when the causes of LGBT equality and human rights need defending via protest marches, writing to politicians and papers, or fighting homophobes face on, there isn’t much of a gathering. Sure, lots of gays get off their arses once a year to march in Pride, but that has become little more than an open-air piss up. It’s political because there are numbers there, but the individuals who make up those numbers largely just want to party without thinking about LGBT rights.

For those who think being LGBT is some kind of buffet where you can take the fun parts and ignore the uncomfortable truths, turn down your ABBA and consider this a moment: You do a grave disservice to the brave vanguard generation of Irish LGBT people who came before you. They paved the way for the freedom you superficially take for granted, at great cost, and you are squandering it.

If we do not continue to move forward in the struggle, what they achieved could be eroded. Being ‘a good gay’ isn’t about Eurovision or fashion, it’s about caring about the struggles of LGBT people both in your own country and abroad. Being a good gay means leaving the party for a while and letting your voice be heard in protest, rather than singing some banal song about nothing at the top of your queer head.


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