Eurovision star Mélovin defiantly comes out after passionate on-stage kiss with man and woman

·4-min read

Former Eurovision contestant Mélovin came out in true rock star fashion – kissing a woman and then a man during a televised music festival.

Mélovin represented Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, finishing in 17th place with 130 points. He also won the sixth season of X-Factor Ukraine.

According to the Kyiv Post, Mélovin came out during his performance at Ukraine‘s biggest music festival, Atlas Weekend, on Monday (5 July).

After he passionately kissed a woman and then a man on stage, he then pulled out an LGBT+ Pride flag and waved it proudly as the crowd cheered on.

Mélovin shared a video of the jaw-dropping moment to Instagram, where it’s been viewed over 51,000 times.

He wrote that a person’s “colour, faith or gender” does not matter to him because “you need to love a person, body, soul”.

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“We are a strong people,” Mélovin continued. “We are not afraid to move forward, feel the rhythm of time and keep up with other democratic countries.”

LGBT+ non-profit group Ukraine Pride said Mélovin’s performance is the country’s first public, on-stage coming out, according to Kyiv Post. The organisation shared photos of the iconic moment on Instagram, with the caption: “Happy Pride!”

Mélovin accuses TV bosses of censoring his coming out

Mélovin claimed on Instagram that his “official coming out” was cut from a live broadcast on the TV channel M1.

The singer continued: “Should the struggle for one’s rights and freedoms be censored?

“If not, I unequivocally support you. And if so, I’m not sure I want to exist in such a future for Ukraine.”

StarLightMedia, which operates the M1 channel, denied purposely censoring the kisses in a statement on Facebook.

It said that the channel was not informed about the planned moment, and that a cut to another scene was simply “following traditional broadcast principles”.

StarLightMedia said it was “pleased to welcome” Mélovin’s act, “which made one of the first such statements among public people in Ukraine”.

“We hope that this will be the beginning of a new level of security, dialogue and protection of the rights and opportunities of the LGBT+ community in Ukraine,” the company wrote.

Melovin Ukraine Eurovision
Melovin (Konstantyn Bocharov) representing Ukraine performs at Altice Arena on 12 May 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Pedro Gomes/WireImage)

M1 bosses told Detector Media that the station supports “all human freedoms and rights”.

The channel also published the full version of Mélovin’s performance on YouTube Tuesday (6 July). Kyiv Post said M1 has also announced that Mélovin will appear in a leading role in an upcoming TV project.

LGBT+ people have very limited rights in Ukraine

LGBT+ people in Ukraine have basic protections – same-sex relations are legal and trans men and women (but not non-binary people) can gain recognition of their gender regardless of whether they have received gender-affirming surgery, according to Equaldex.

There are legal protections against housing and employment discrimination, however same-sex marriage is not yet recognised, LGBT+ couples cannot adopt children, and the horrific, pseudo-scientific practice of conversion therapy has not yet been banned.

However, societal attitudes towards the LGBT+ community are still largely negative, with the Pew Research Centre reporting low levels of acceptance.

Patriarch Filaret, who is the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv, made headlines in 2020 after he claimed COVID was God’s “divine punishment” for same-sex marriage and the “sings of men” and humanity.

The statement prompted widespread condemnation from LGBT+ rights activists. One organisation, called Insight, took legal action against Filaret.

He is one of several religious leaders to blame the pandemic on the LGBT+ community, prompting the World Health Organisation to issue a warning against spreading misinformation.

Last year, a peaceful Pride celebration in Odessa was attacked by neo-Nazi thugs, who pelted LGBT+ activists with eggs and used pepper spray against them. Odessa Pride organisers said the event had only been underway for a few moments before attendees were assaulted by far-right nationalists.

The organisers said, despite a police presence at the event, officers did not react to the attack quickly enough, and several activists were abused before the force eventually tried to break up the conflict.

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