September 16, 2020
Duncan Laurence has made an impassioned plea for tolerance following his win at the Eurovision Song Contest. While Madonna’s controversial performance may have grabbed the headlines, Duncan Laurence won the 2019 Eurovision song contest. Laurence won the Eurovision song contest for the Netherlands with the song “Arcade”.
The singer-songwriter sent a message in support of the LGBT community, saying people should be seen for “who they are” irrespective of their sexuality.
Laurence, who is a bisexual, said: “I think the most important thing is that you stick to who you are and see yourself as I see myself, as I see Sergey, as I see Chris, as I see you, just a human being”.
“As a person who has talents, who, with this trophy, will in however many years stick to what they love – even if they have a different sexuality. Stick to what you love and make the best of it and love people for who they are. That’s the most important message. Dream big”.
The 25-year-old won over the voting public and the international juries, securing 492 points with his piano ballad Arcade.
When asked about his win, the 25-year old replied: “First of all, I get to meet (Israeli former Eurovision winner) Netta, that was the best present, and then I got this trophy from her”.
“No words, this can’t be described in words – and I can’t write a song about this. I can’t tell this in words. I am so happy right now. It came through, it really came through.”
Duncan Laurence, a former contestant of The Voice Holland, came out on 17th May. It was during a press conference that he freely embraced and came out with his bisexuality.
When asked by a journalist on what qualifying for the final meant to him, Duncan said: “What it means to me personally is – before this all started, I was a songwriter who wrote songs from his bedroom and this chance means to me that I can show myself as an artist, but also as a human being, I stand for things.”
Then he said: ‘I am more than just an artist, I am a person, I am a living being, I’m bisexual, I’m a musician, I stand for things. And I’m proud that I get the chance to show what I am, who I am.’
Duncan Laurence said he hoped to set an example to others in the LGBT community and safe to say, he has set an example.
This is the first time the Netherlands has won since 1975. This year’s Eurovision Song Contest, which took place in Tel Aviv, was one of the most controversial yet. Furthermore, more than 60 queer and trans liberation organizations called for a boycott over the treatment of Palestinians.