When the Bearded Drag Queen Met Ban Ki-Moon

Pair called for greater tolerance on people’s sexual orientation.

ByLOUISE DEWAST
November 3, 2014, 1:14 PM

— -- Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst has a lot to say, and today got to say it with the help of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon.

The bearded lady and singer was invited to speak at the U.N. in Vienna today, and was photographed waving next to the secretary-general as the pair called for greater tolerance on people’s sexual orientation.

"I dream of a future where we don't have to talk about sexual orientation, the color of your skin, your religious beliefs -- because this is not important when it comes to society," the drag queen said, according to AP Television. "Of course, it's important for the human being, but it's not important for society. And I would welcome you to join us, to join those people who think of this future."

Conchita Wurst is known in private as Tom Neuwirth, born in 1988 in Gmunden, Austria. Neuwirth created the character after facing years of discrimination as a teenager.

Conchita starred in several European TV shows before rising to stardom by winning the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark, with the song "Rise Like a Phoenix," performed before a TV audience of about 180 million.

On June 28, Conchita performed on stage at Trafalgar Square, London, at the opening of the city's annual Gay Pride event and, in July, participated in the Paris Fashion Week, modelling for fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier.

Her character’s last name, "Wurst" means "sausage" in German although, according to an interview with German newspaper DerStandard, Neuwirth relates the choice of last name to the common German expression, "Das ist mir doch alles Wurst," which means, "it's all the same to me," or "I don't care."

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