Pic: Albin Olsson
The man who created the iconic bearded drag persona Conchita Wurst says that it’s time to retire the character.
Speaking to Germany’s Die Welt newspaper, singer Tom Neuwirth declared that, “I don’t need her any more” and “I have to kill her”.
The Austrian explained: “I feel like I want to create a new person… with the bearded lady, I have achieved everything I wanted since the [Eurovision] Song Contest victory.”
Neuwirth also affirmed his identity as a gay man and said that he is not transgender. “I am and always will be Tom. I don’t want to be a woman.”
He added: “I love men, but as a man… when I am dressed as Conchita, men don’t interest me. As a drag act I feel completely asexual.”
Wurst, performed by the 28-year-old Neuwirth and representing Austria, won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2014 with her powerful and dramatic vocals and became an instant international phenomenon.
Accepting the trophy that night, Wurst dedicated her victory “to everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom. We are unity.”
She was slammed by outraged homophobic Russian politicians. MP Vladimir Zhirinovsky proclaimed her victory as “the end of Europe,” adding that “there is no limit to our outrage. It has turned wild. There are no more men or women in Europe, just it.”
The singer went on to perform at Pride events around the world, modelled for Jean Paul Gaultier, and was even praised by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for her efforts in promoting LGBTI equality.