This is where my head is today, and it’s all because of two things. Lady Gaga, and a chink in her armour. And a split second of a Conchita Wurst interview where I suddenly felt my heart grabbed.
So how do I explain?
I’m the type of person who doesn’t fall in love with singers because of the ‘image’ they have built around them. Instead, I fall in love with the person that’s hidden underneath the armour that’s often been years in the making.
Some people’s armour is so thick it rarely cracks. Others are still in the process of building theirs up, so the chinks are more frequent, wider and easier to find – these are the people I love the most as they are also the people who, if they are brave enough to refuse to add to the metallic layers already in place, will be the ones who are the most long-term successful.
And that’s because, whether fans consciously realize it or not, they’re not really reacting to the perfect image pushed before them, but instead to the real person peering out from beneath.
So……on to the moment Conchita Wurst grabbed my heart.
It was in a video from an RTL interview last week (see below) – a video that had fans divided on whether it was a ‘well-meaning interview’ or one full of ‘snark and mean’. (I fell on the ‘snark and mean’ side simply because of some of the language used (‘Trash Queen’), and because my first reaction is always to fight for her because, as I keep saying, with no exaggeration, above all others Conchita Wurst has my heart).
And now to……….. ‘I’ve already handed it to you, you really don’t need to grab it’.
Early in the interview, Conchita is asked a question about how things have changed since she won Eurovision and her answer goes like this:
“Alles eigentlich von Grund auf in so eine Richtung, wie ich sie immer haben wollte. Ich wollte immer einen vollen Terminkalender haben, ich wollte immer viel herumfliegen, und reisen und die Welt sehen und das darf ich jetzt. Und ich arbeite sehr, sehr hart daran, dass sich das nie wieder andert.”
Roughly translated, she says:
“Everything actually from the ground up in such a direction as I wanted it forever. I always wanted to have a busy schedule, I always wanted to fly around a lot, and travel and see the world and I can now. And I am working very, very hard so this will never change.”
And the bit that grabbed my heart, and held it tight, and made me absolutely sure it’s simply not possible to love her more? When she says “And I am working very, very hard so this will never change.”
It’s the look of absolute child-like delight on her face and in her voice, the smile tinged with just that little bit of sadness that, yes, it really may just………end but, oh, she doesn’t ever want it to. And the absolute certainty in my mind that the person talking there is Tom.
The boy who spent years being ridiculed and laughed at for who he was.
The young man who, even if the cruel responses he sometimes got must have been killing him inside, bravely put on that armour (in his case, the wig, the lashes and the dress), and went out into the world to fight for what he believed in, and for who he really is.
And now the man who is so incredibly happy with everything that is coming to him he must wake up every morning believing this cannot be real, because now he really is a person who is worth something (he always was, but you know how that feeling goes).
And who, while building up that image of the ‘perfect Conchita’ he seems to think he needs for the world to keep on loving him, isn’t fooling me.
Because underneath all that — ‘stuff’ — he’s the one peering through that chink in the armour and he’s always the one I’ll love the most, regardless that Conchita Wurst still has my heart. (Well, that girl, she’s just going to have to share it).
He’s the one who is sweet and kind and loving, and naive and innocent, and so well-versed in the ways of the world, and intelligent and shrewd, and incredibly vulnerable and impossibly strong, and scared and yet…….. oh so incredibly brave.
And he’s the one who, as much as I’ll always fight for Conchita, I’ll fight for him even more. Because when he’s come this far, through so much, and still ended up being the person he is, a person who always WAS worth something, he deserves a ‘fabulous life’ more than anyone.
And me? I’ll do everything I can to make sure he gets it.