Sweden’s Måns Zelmerlöw (Pic: Thomas Hanses (EBU))
Sweden’s Måns Zelmerlöw spoke out for the gay community after winning the Eurovision Song Contest, despite claims he’d made homophobic comments in the past.
The 28-year-old’s upbeat winning entry Heroes beat out songs from 26 other countries in a glitzy spectacular in Vienna on Saturday night.
The handsome singer caused controversy in 2014 when he appeared to speak out against homosexuality on the show Pluras kök.
He said that, “it isn’t equally natural for men to want to sleep with one another” and called homosexuality a “deviation.”
Zelmerlöw later released a statement apologising and affirming that, “I believe and hope that the vast majority know that I respect differences and all forms of love.”
The star has since proclaimed himself an LGBT ally and his acceptance speech on Saturday night appeared to confirm this.
“I’m so extremely happy,” Zelmerlow said after winning. He added that, “We are all heroes, no matter who we love, who we are or what we believe in.”
Having completed its 60th edition, the Eurovision Song Contest has a massive gay fan base. Last year’s event was famously won by the bearded drag diva Conchita Wurst, who went on to become an iconic performer and international campaigner for LGBT rights.
Watch Zelmerlöw sing his winning song Heroes below.