Nemo Becomes First Non-Binary Artist To Win Eurovision

Nemo Becomes First Non-Binary Artist To Win Eurovision

Nemo, a singer from Switzerland, is the first non-binary artist to win the Eurovision song contest. Thirty seven countries in Europe are invited each year to debut a new song at Eurovision to compete for first prize. This year, the 68th annual competition came to Malmö, Sweden and invited some of Europe’s most popular musical artists. Nemo Mettler who is just 24 years old won the competition with their song “The Code.” Nemo told interviewers, their song is the first they have written about queer joy and feeling comfortable in their own skin.

Nemo, Eurovision 2024 Winner (Photo by Corinne Cumming – EBU)

“To stand here at the end and know that what I did touched so many people and hopefully got to the right people and touched the lives of other people that are nonbinary or trans and just hoping that they felt seen today feels amazing,” Nemo said in an interview post performance

During their award-winning performance Nemo wore a colorful ruffled jacket and a pink skirt while performing alone on a spinning platform in the middle of a full audience at the Malmö Arena. 

In previous years, other queer artists have participated and done well in the competition, including Italian pop stars Mahmood and BLANCO who sang the gut-wrenching ballad duet “Brividi” in 2022. In 2023, the competition welcomed LGBTQ+ artists like winner Loreen (Sweden), Gustaph (Belgium), Luke Black (Serbia), and Alessandra (Norway).

Other queer artists who participated in this year’s competition included Saba, an Ethiopian-born queer woman representing Denmark, and Mustii of Belgium, who serves as a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race Belgium, according to NBC News. 

The competition was stewing in controversy this year after protests arose over the decision to include a participant from Israel as the Israeli attack on Gaza has killed over 35,000 civilians. Ahead of and during the competition, which took place over five days, both pro-Israel and pro-Palestine protests ensued in Malmö.

In 2022, the war in Ukraine also sparked controversy when Russia was kicked out of Eurovision, and audience members and voters pushed hard for a landslide victory for Ukrainian competitor Kalush Orchestra. 

Though many LGBTQ+ artists continue to participate in the competition, Nemo has broken “the code” as the first non-binary artist to win, and hopes that their victory will inspire other gender-diverse people to follow their dreams.

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