This picture taken on Sunday shows fans waving the Austrian flag waiting for the arrival of Conchita Wurst at the Vienna international airport in Schwechat.
Former Eurovision Song Contest winner Serbia did not send a representative to Saturday’s contest due to financial constraints, but local singers and fans scoffed at the show once bearded Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst bagged first place.
“The triumph of the Austrian transvestite ... proves that this once prestigious contest has turned into a freak show,” the daily newspaper Informer said yesterday.
“A sure-win combination for the Eurosong next year is a good song performed by a grandma with a (male sexual organ),” it quoted singer Ognjen Amidzic as saying.
Composer Dragan Brajovic, who wrote several songs that were part of earlier contests, also blasted the show as “a freak parade”.
Serbia carried the live broadcast of the entire contest and its live commentator made a number of negative remarks about Wurst.
“Now women will not have to have epilation anymore,” the commentator said, drawing condemnation and a demand for an apology from gay rights activist Predrag Azdejkovic.
Traditionalist Serbia, with its vastly influential and conservative Orthodox Church dictating the country’s morality code, has been hostile, even outright violent toward gays and other sexual minorities.
After the only two pride parades ever held in Belgrade, in 2001 and 2010, ended in violence, Serbian authorities have banned the event, citing security concerns.
Another pride parade is scheduled for May 19, but it is unclear whether it will be held.
A rare show of support for Conchita Wurst came from Serbia’s only Eurovision winner, Marija Serifovic – who was derided by a number of her compatriots last year after revealing she was a lesbian.
Serifovic told the daily Blic that the triumph “of a transgender person deserves respect ... not just from individuals, but the whole world”.