Conchita Wurst and Dana International
I’ve now heard this argument being made a hundred times: Conchita Wurst is nothing special because Dana International has already won the ESC years ago. I simply have to disagree. It’s not that I have anything bad to say about Dana International or anything; the problem is the comparison made.
If you forget the promotion, the interviews and everything else and just look at the performances there is one striking difference. What you see on Dana’s performance is a normatively acceptable woman. Even if you know that she’s trans, and even if you’re transphobic, it’s easier to look pass that (if for some odd reason you really have a need to forget about her identity). So most people SEE a woman even if they KNOW she’s not cis. (And I do consider transwomen just as much women as ciswomen, I’m just trying to think this through how your average, not very ‘transeducated’ person could see this.)
And here comes my actual point: when you look at Conchita’s performance you SEE it is not a person of either normative sex, or at least appears that way, and thus you KNOW it is not a person of either normative gender. So to people with strong, for example, religious views or just very limited views on the diversity of gender, it’s almost impossible to look at Conchita and to not be confused. Conchita’s performance FORCES people to reflect on the relations of gender and sex, and I think that’s the special thing with her.