The blog of Monty Moncrieff
London Friend Chief Executive
24th April 2013: My world collide: talking to the Finnish Eurovision entrant about marriage equality
Those who know me well, and anyone who follows me on Twitter, will know that after working for LGB & T equality my other big passion – some would claim obsession, and I probably wouldn’t correct them – is for the Eurovision Song Contest. I just adore the whole spectacle of it, from the unlikely to the sublime, and I’ve been hooked ever since I was a child. In later years I’ve been travelling to see the show live, and I’ve been struck by the overwhelming sense of community and close friendships that are formed between travelling fans of all nations.
This weekend I had a chance for my worlds to collide: Finland’s entrant this year is Krista Siegfrids whose song is called Marry Me, a bouncy number in which Krista sings a bit tongue-in-cheek about how she’s going to bag her man. In promotional appearances however there’s been a twist as she’s ended her performance kissing her female backing dancer. Krista has been outspoken about supporting marriage equality for same sex couples, a topic I have previously blogged about and which London Friend supports, so when I heard she was visiting London last weekend I met up with her to ask her why supporting same-sex marriage is important to her.
The Eurovision Song Contest has a strong LGBT following across Europe and has hit the headlines with drag performers representing Slovenia in 2001 and Denmark in 2007; the ‘lesbian’ on-stage antics of Russian group t.A.T.u. in 2003; and with the first openly trans winner Dana International in 1998. In the United Kingdom gay broadcasters Scott Mills, Paddy O’Connell and Graham Norton have all provided commentary for the semi-finals and the final TV shows. LGBT equality issues have been in the spotlight as the Contest has been held in Serbia, Russia and Azerbaijan in recent years; in Moscow an attempt to host a pro-gay rally on the day of the final was disrupted by police. This year’s Contest will be held in Malmö, Sweden on May 14th, 16th and 18th.
London Friend supports marriage equality; you can read our submission to last year’s Government consultation here. Information about our partners, the Lesbian & Gay Foundation’s, equal marriage campaign can be found here. Additional campaigns are being led by Stonewall and the Coalition for Equal Marriage. This week France became the 14th country in the world to vote for marriage equality.
You can follow Krista as she bids to achieve Finland’s second Eurovision victory on Twitter @kristasiegfrids You can follow me, for all sorts of LGBT and Eurovision related Tweets @montymoncrieff
See you in Malmö. C’mon Bonnie Tyler!