What Eurovision 2014 Meant to Me | Teen Ink

What Eurovision 2014 Meant to Me

May 10, 2014
By Sootfire SILVER, West Bloomfield, Michigan
Sootfire SILVER, West Bloomfield, Michigan
8 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I don't dress for your approval, boys." -Elphaba, Wicked by Gregory Maguire

I'm not European. I didn't watch Eurovision. But I saw everyone talking about one person, so I watched her song.

That person was Conchita Wurst.

I saw her song, and I immediately wanted her to win. I needed her to win. And here’s why:

I am a non-binary teen, and I heard her song. I heard her sing about not agreeing with what she saw in the mirror, about wanting to become strong in her chosen role, and I heard longing and satisfaction and a spirit of adventure in her voice.

That song was unbelievably empowering because, you see, I chose the name Phoenix ages ago. It’s been my name for a while, but very few people call me that. So when Conchita Wurst got up there and sang “Rise Like a Phoenix,” it sounded like it was for me. Like I was rising up. Like maybe that was what I was supposed to do.

It sort of gave me the courage to fully accept my identity.

So I’ve heard about her being racist, and I’ve heard about her being maybe not so great, and I don’t discount that, but what I heard first was her song, and I have taken it, accepted it into every fiber of my body, of my mind, of my soul, and I have embraced my own identity because of that song.

People say representation doesn’t matter, but let me tell you right now: it does. Because I saw that person singing with long hair and eyeliner and a beard and it proved my own existence to me. I’ve never seen an out non-binary person before. I didn’t have any evidence for our existence but the Internet and myself. So that’s why I needed Conchita Wurst to win.

And she won.

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