04/15/2024, 19:43, Vienna  DEUTSCH / ENGLISH

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Author: Jeanne Wolff Bernstein, Ph.D


Editor´s note:
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen!
This time, on the occasion of the Eurovisions Song Contest Vienna 2015 we publish the leading article by Jeanne Wolff Bernstein, Ph.D. and will therefore post the interview next week!
Enjoy reading!

Conchita Wurst has become a sensation in Austria and Europe since she won the Eurovision Song Contest in May 2014 in Copenhagen. Everywhere you go her portrait greets you in Austria, it was on magazine covers, fashion magazines, or even as an advertisement for one of the largest banks in Austria. How can one understand her immense success and her huge recognition in a country that is not necessarily known to be as open and tolerant towards groups of people who are "foreign" or "strange" in this Alpine republic regardless of whether this strangeness is expressed on a sexual, political or cultural level. But Conchita Wurst happens to be "different" very different. Is she a bearded woman or a boy with false eyelashes. She cannot be put in a preassigned category and at first she confused a lot of people with her appearance, who wanted to know what she is: male or female, Tom or Conchita, gay or "trans", true or false? In which drawer can she be put into, to satisfy the human urge for clarity and security? Despite these many unanswered questions and confusions, she / he has become one of the most idealized figures in the last two years in Europe.

Her own account of the transformation of Thomas Neuwirth (her given name) to Conchita Wurst is an amazingly simple one because with her "fictional character/Persona" she wanted to mainly show the world that everyone can be what he / she wants to be. Conchita Wurst acknowledges her fictional character/persona, and in her she feels the most comfortable and successful. In an English interview in 2014, she described her career/history with the following words: “As a young boy, I always tried to fit in and adapt to the world around me. I wanted to be part of the game, until I realized that it was up to me to create the game and this is how I created the bearded lady.”...

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