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Listen To The 8 LGBTQ+ Acts Competing In Eurovision 2024

Listen To The 8 LGBTQ+ Acts Competing In Eurovision 2024

From a Drag Race judge to a “rebel witch” to Years & Years former frontman, eight openly queer singers are heading to Malmö, Sweden to compete in the world’s largest music event. Which song will you be cheering for?

By Stephan Petar

Eurovision, the world’s largest music event as certified by the Guinness World Records, is happening on Saturday, May 11 in Malmö, Sweden. 

If you’re new to Eurovision, or only know the movie Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, here is a great explainer video. But essentially, the competition started in 1956 and is organized by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). EBU members can send an original song no longer than three minutes to the annual competition to represent their country, which is selected either internally or via a national televised selection. 

Participating countries compete in semi-finals events (May 7 and 9) for a spot in the final, with the exception of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom who automatically qualify as they are the biggest financial donors to the event as well as the host country who previously won. At the Grand Finale 26 of the 37 countries compete for both jury and public votes in hopes of winning the glass microphone trophy and opportunity to host the following year. 

Eurovision is a spectacle with creative and outlandish costumes, choreography filled with hair whips and booty shaking, random and bizarre props, pyrotechnics and more. It is theatrical, camp and fun. Plus it showcases a variety of song genres with lyrics in English, native languages or both.

LGBTQ+ artist Loreen won for her song Tattoo in 2023 and this year eight of 37 artists selected to compete identify as LGBTQ+. So, which of the following LGBTQ+ artists will you be rooting for on May 11? 

Country: Australia | Song: One Milkali (One Blood) Pronouns: Zaachariaha Fielding (she/her & he/him) and Michael Ross (he/him) 

Let’s address the elephant in the room. Yes, Australia is not part of Europe, but are active members of the EBU as the Australian broadcaster SBS is an associate member. Therefore, they are eligible, though they can never host. 

Electric Fields are the first duo to represent Australia, though the pair came close in 2019, losing out to Kate Miller-Heidke. Both identify as queer and have been making music together for almost a decade. Vocalist Zaachariaha grew up in the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands in South Australia, while producer and keyboardist Michael is from Logan, Queensland. 

Their entry incorporates Yankunytjatjara, an Indigenous language of the Anangu peoples, one of the oldest living cultures on earth. In a press release Zaachariaha said, “The song is about all of us being together as one. Aboriginal culture has a way of dealing with situations and it’ll be nice for this country [Australia] and the globe to learn that way of doing it. You don’t have to jump on anybody to get what you want. You can actually dialogue it out.”

Country: Belgium | Song: Before the Party’s Over Pronouns: He/Him 

If you’re a fan of Drag Race Belgique, you’ll know Belgium’s selection as one of the judges on the show alongside Rita Baga. Mustii is a singer, songwriter and actor who has starred on stage, TV and film. His first two albums, 21st Century Boy and It’s Happening Now, were both big hits in his home country. The star first came out as bisexual, but has said he now avoids labels.

When asked about the song he told outlet VRT, “I wanted this song to be an optimistic, euphoric burst of energy. It’s a journey, from the intimate to the final burst…In the song, I draw a metaphor between a long night of partying (with its highs and lows, its ups and downs) and life. Before the fall, before it’s all over, you have to live life to the fullest.”

Country: Denmark | Song: Sand Pronouns: She/Her 

Saba is the first brown, queer woman to represent Denmark at the song contest. The artist was adopted from Ethiopia at eight months old with her twin sister Andrea, and grew up in Ringkøbing. She has been a model, photographer and musical theatre actress who was most recently seen in Hair, replacing her sister after she fell ill during her pregnancy. Saba has been called a role-model for minorities and LGBTQ+ people and is an open book, speaking candidly about her mental health struggles.

Country: Ireland | Song: Doomsday Blue Pronouns: They/Them/Fae

Bambie Thug is bringing a never before heard genre to Eurovision – “Ouija-pop.” The genre was coined by the Cork-born artist whose music incorporates a variety of sounds from pop to rock and electronic. She is the first non-binary artist to represent Ireland and describes herself as “the witch of Eurovision.” 

When asked to describe Doomsday Blue she told Irish broadcaster RTE “…it transports you from alt witchy verses to killer screams, pop choruses, a jazzy middle-eight, before ending in a metallic roar of electro and heavy guitars. It perfectly showcases the different facets of me as an artist. I can be explosive and hard-hitting, but I can also be sweet and soulful.” Okay, Ouija-pop, you have our attention. 

Country: Lithuania | Song: Luktelk Pronouns: He/Him 

The bisexual singer from Kaunas has said music has been an integral part of his life since a young age. Most of his music explores personal memories related to his sexuality in a homophobic environment and the impact of suppressing his emotions. He is influenced by pop and electronic and told the Eurovision podcast he loves writing in his native language. His musical icon is Troye Sivan, so it is fitting he has done a cover of the song Rush. His performance will mark the 30th anniversary of Lithuania’s first appearance at Eurovision.

His song Luktelk translates to “wait” or “hold on,” which he tells the Eurovision blog “is about being stuck in limbo between two stages of barely existing and feeling alive, when you have to hold on and dance through whatever life throws at you.”

Country: San Marino | Song: 11:11 Pronouns: She/Her

Megara is finally heading to Eurovision after failing to qualify in 2023 in Spain’s national competition, losing to Blanca Paloma. This time they’ve hopped over to represent the tiny country of San Marino. 

The band formed in Madrid in 2015 and its lead singer Kenzy identifies as a lesbian. The group hates labelling their music, because they incorporate elements of all genres. They have said there is “space for spikes, head banging, fire, but also for dancers, unicorns and candy.” Here is hoping we get all of that and more in their Eurovision performance!

Country: Switzerland | Song: The Code Pronouns: They/Them

Many are betting this multi-talented 23-year-old will win the competition – something Switzerland hasn’t done since Céline Dion’s win for Ne partez pas sans moi in 1988. 

The Code is a multi-genre song that makes the listener feel as though they’re running through Wonderland. The song features the various musical stylings Nemo has dabbled in throughout his career with elements of opera, rap and pop. In a statement to Eurovision he said “The Code is about the journey I started with the realization that I am neither a man nor a woman. Finding myself has been a long and often difficult process for me. But nothing feels better than the freedom I have gained by realizing that I am non-binary.” The song was one of over 400 possibilities to represent the country this year. 

Country: United Kingdom | Song: Dizzy Pronouns: He/Him

This contestant needs no introduction as we’ve been singing along with him for years and years. Olly Alexander is a multi-talented singer, actor and activist who has headlined concert venues internationally with and as Years & Years. He made his acting debut in the UK series It’s a Sin, which earned him a BAFTA Television Award nomination.

The song originated from a single word that popped into Olly’s head – dizzy. From there, he tells the BBC that he and music producer Danny L. Harle, built off that in a brainstorm style session. “I was thinking about fun things that could make you dizzy and I remember saying “dizzy from your kisses.” So, the song is about feeling such an intense swell of emotion for someone they totally turn your world upside down and inside out.”

Canadians can watch the broadcast live on the official Eurovision YouTube channel starting at 3:00 p.m. EST or 12:00 p.m. PST on Saturday, May 11, 2024.

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