Eurovision serves queer joy with epic ballroom performance: ‘Belgium says gay rights’

Eurovision's Belgium entrant Gustaph welcomes vogue performer during semi-final performance.

During every Eurovision, there’s always at least one contestant who comes on stage to serve nothing but queer joy. At this year’s second semi-final, that contestant was Gustaph.

Gustaph is this year’s entrant for Belgium, and his song “Because of You” is a feel-good pop anthem, and a tribute to his queer chosen family.

There is truly no greater place to share a bit of LGBTQ+ love than the Eurovision stage. Over the years, it’s been home to ground-breaking LGBTQ+ performers, from Israel’s 1998 trans winner Dana International, to 2014’s success story, Austrian drag legend Conchita Wurst.

All in all, Eurovision and the LGBTQ+ community go hand-in-hand. During last night’s (11 May) semi-final, Gustaph proved just that.

Dressed in a pink shirt and trousers, with a white blazer and Cordobes hat, he launched into the song against a screen backdrop of vogue performers. 

He brought his dance classic to all corners of the semi-final stage, before paying tribute to ballroom culture by being joined on stage by a vogue performer, dressed in all pink.

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The gays of the internet could immediately be heard screaming: “Huge slay!”

One person took to Twitter to admit: “Gustaph’s performance made me a bit emotional, not gonna lie. He is a 42-year old man living one of his biggest dreams together with his best friends. Truly a great LGBT ambassador.”

Another said: “Belgium’s entry is such an amazing tribute to the spirit of Eurovision and being queer. Such a joyous moment of this year’s contest. Gustaph better finish in the top 10 on Saturday at least.”

A third viewer added: “He makes me proud of being Belgian. I’m happy he’s representing our country.”

Others were simply living for the dancer at the end, with one tweeter writing: “That final death drop made me go feral, just fantastic. I love the whole performance so much.”

As LGBTQ+ people face increasing violence and bigotry in the UK and across Europe, and the threat of being outlawed in states throughout the US, Eurovision and Gustaph’s performance was a welcome reminder of how much joy there is to be found in the community.

“The competition continues to be an important platform for queer performers and championing LGBT+ rights,” one fan posted on social media.

Considering that last night’s show also included an interval performance from three “truly iconic” drag queens, it’s safe to say Eurovision remains the queerest place on Earth.

The Eurovision Song Contest grand final will air on BBC1 on Saturday (13 May).