On Tuesday night, the Italian hosts for the Eurovision Track Contest semifinal broadcast included Cristiano Malgioglio, a songwriter and well-liked tv character additionally identified for his outlandish couture, who riffed on his love life. Talking of the 5 international locations that robotically get into the ultimate — Italy, France, Germany, Spain and Britain — he quipped, “I’ve a boyfriend in each nation.” He was a bunch final 12 months, too.
Eurovision has at all times “had a big L.G.B.T.Q. factor in its fandom,” mentioned Catherine Baker, a historian on the College of Hull who has written concerning the competitors. After vital rulings by the European Court docket of Human Rights within the late Nineteen Nineties and the 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam, which banned discrimination in opposition to folks on the grounds of sexual orientation, “Europe turned related to the concept of L.G.B.T.Q. rights, and symbolically that had an affect on Eurovision, even when it wasn’t organized by the European Union,” Baker mentioned.
The competitors has additionally lengthy been a trailblazer in relation to L.G.B.T.Q. illustration onstage, that includes artists like Iceland’s Paul Oscar, Israel’s Dana Worldwide and Finland’s Saara Aalto through the years.
L.G.B.T.Q. folks face overtly hostile environments in a number of European international locations, together with Poland, Hungary and Russia. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the highly effective head of the Russian Orthodox Church, not too long ago justified Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by claiming that it was a part of a battle in opposition to beliefs imposed by liberal foreigners that included gay pride parades.
Franco Grillini, a outstanding Italian L.G.B.T.Q. rights activist, mentioned a tune like “Brividi” would as soon as have been “unimaginable” at a pageant that usually has Italians glued to their tv screens.
Up to now, homosexuality might additionally damage a musical profession in Italy, he mentioned, citing the case of Umberto Bindi, a proficient, homosexual singer-songwriter who induced a scandal in Sanremo in 1961 by sporting a pinkie ring (then a presumed signal of homosexuality). He by no means obtained the popularity he deserved as a result of “he was brutally discriminated” in opposition to, Grillini mentioned.