Throughout its history, Eurovision has been synonymous with queer representation and has seen real moments of hope and progress.
From transgender performer Dana International winning the contest in 1998, to Conchita Wurst's famous victory in 2014 and the openly bisexual 2019 winner Duncan Laurence, the Contest has always been about visibility.
With eight artists out at the time in 2021 and three in 2022, what has 2023 served us in terms of LGBTIQ+ representation?
Let's take a look at the artists who have been public in their queer identity.
Loreen - Sweden
Loreen is representing Sweden with 'Tattoo' and is looking for a double victory after taking the Eurovision Song Contest crown in 2012.
In a 2017 TV interview the Swedish singer revealed she was bisexual, saying:
“I usually say ‘love is where you find it’. That makes you bisexual? Yes, actually. Then I may say that I’m there, simply.”
Loreen currently has a boyfriend, Charli Ljung, who was supportive to her during her Melodifestivalen win.
She is still, however, very private about her love life giving a rare statement to Aftonbladet about his support.
"The only thing I can say, and the last thing I will say about this, is that that person knows me very well and it will be a security to have someone who has been there for such a long time. Okay, now we’ll let it go, he gets too much attention," Loreen said.
If Loreen is victorious in Liverpool, she will become the third queer identifying winner in the last four editions of Eurovision.
The other two winners were Duncan Laurence in 2019 and Maneskin's Victoria De Angelis in 2021.
Loreen will be competing in semi-final 1 on Tuesday 9 May.
Gustaph - Belgium
Gustaph is representing Belgium this year with 'Because of You' and the artist has been openly gay for some time.
His real name is Stefan Coers and was previously known as Steffen before settling on Gustaph as his stage name.
He told Eurovisionworld about being openly gay in the music scene:
"When I started off as Steffen, I was very young. I am a gay man and I have been out since I was only 14. I did feel sort of a pressure from the recording industry to keep my sexuality as mysterious, like don't really tell them you're gay but don't deny it either, that was confusing for me."
Gustaph's song this year is also a celebration of the LGBTIQ+ and the notion of a "chosen family", telling Wiwibloggs:
"[Because of You'] is really about the chosen family, which happens a lot in the queer world. I think ‘Because of You’ is universal. Anyone who helps you to where you are in life and helps you to say this is who I am and I love who I am because of you.”
But the queer representation doesn't stop there!
Gustaph's husband Roen Lommelen designed the stage visuals for his Belgian national final performance and will be doing the same for Liverpool.
And last but not least, the song is co-written by Queer artist Jaouad Alloul, also from Belgium.
Gustaph will perform in semi-final 2 on Thursday 11 May.
Alessandra - Norway
Alessandra will represent Norway at Eurovision this year with her song 'Queen of Kings'.
Born in Italy to an Italian father and Norwegian mother, she grew up in her birth nation before relocating in her teenage years.
She is bisexual and spoke to Eurovision Fun about the message of the song relates to her sexuality:
“This song shows the power of women, but also the power of all people, about how important it is to feel yourself. I am bisexual and when I lived in Italy I had to hide who I was because some of my friends and relatives would not approve it. So I think it’s important to accept who we are, without caring about the opinion of others, as well as to accept that there are also bad moments in life from which we become stronger!”
Although she has used the term bisexual, as she has stated that it's not always a term that resonates with her, saying:
"Now I have to say something, and that is that I don’t like to call it bisexual. And that’s because you kind of put it in a box. But the definition you give is bisexual, so I’ll just say that."
Alessandra currently has a boyfriend who will be travelling with her to Liverpool, where she will compete in semi-final 1 on Tuesday 9 May.
Loreen, Gustaph and Alessandra are, as far as we know, the only two open artists in the field but of course there may be others or those who wish to not be out.
Check out our other articles of LGBTIQ+ artists:
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