OPINION - London hosted the Olympics, now let us host the queer games – Eurovision

·2-min read
Sam Ryder took second place for the UK in this year’s competition (PA) (PA Wire)
Sam Ryder took second place for the UK in this year’s competition (PA) (PA Wire)

July is a bit like dry January for us gays. Pride month has ended and the streets of Soho have been returned to the tourists and theatre-goers. Just when we’d managed to scrub the last specks of glitter from our scalps, queer Santa brought us a gift: the UK is to host next year’s Eurovision song contest. The news comes after months of speculation and whilst it was Ukraine which won last year’s competition, they can’t host because of the Russian invasion.

But before we scramble for our carabiner clips and Dr. Martens, we must first put on our boxing gloves… it’s the fight of the British cities and the claws are coming out. If Pride is our Christmas then Eurovision is our thanksgiving.

The party of all parties that allows us to be thankful for and to celebrate one another’s individuality. It’s birthed queer icons: the likes of Conchita Wurst, Maneskin, ABBA, even Cascada, and no one is backing down without a fight.

Already, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Aberdeen have thrown their hats in the ring, as has London. Frankly, no matter which city reigns supreme the gays and the girls will flock - if we end up back in Harrogate like we did in 82, so be it, Harrogate will become Harrogay once again.

I’ll be in the red corner - nope, not the toilets of Dalston Superstore - but in the ring, fighting on the side of the capital. Whilst London sits a mile high above other European cities when it comes to LGBTQIA+ rights, it still struggles to achieve Queer Capital status… as hard as it may try.

We’re going to such lengths that we’ve even got Lady Gaga performing in Tottenham (yes, you read that right) in another attempt at knocking Brighton off the top spot. We’re the city that got Adele pole dancing at G.A.Y; we were the first to show digital holograms of ABBA; even Cate Blanchett is attempting to up the city’s queer credentials by making appearances at Columbia Road flower market. London is the reason both Phillip Schofield and I (we went to the same school) fled a sheltered Cornish town.

Though it’s certainly not all rainbows and the capital still has a way to go, if Tottenham is good enough for Gaga, surely our city has earned enough brownie points to host the ball of the decade. “It’s coming home” but swap the Euros for Eurovision and with it: queer capital status, at least for one night anyway.

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