Just an hour ago, Conchita Wurst was in concert in Bad Mitterndorf, Austria. This is her hometown. The place she grew up in as Tom Neuwirth. The place where her family still lives. And the place where, as a teenager, Tom went through emotional pain as he struggled with being gay, and with the cruel comments and attitudes of some of the people around him.
Thankfully for Tom, and now for Conchita Wurst, the Neuwirth family has always loved and supported their child, no matter what others thought or said. When Tom moved to Vienna, his tight-knit group of friends picked up where they left off. This is probably one of the reasons why Conchita is the strong and emotionally-centered person she is now, as the love and support of family and friends can overcome anything.
Today, though, as Conchita Wurst sang live in Bad Mitterndorf, Austria, my thoughts were not just with her and how elegant, beautiful and happy she looked, they were also with Tom Neuwirth, the little boy alone in the attic in his family home, sewing his dresses and singing his songs.
And that’s why this concert is the one where your heart breaks.
Because, if I had a time machine and knew how to use it, the first thing I would do would be to turn the dials to ‘Attic – Neuwirth Guest House, Bad Mitterndorf, Austria, September 7th, 2001‘, and go tell that little boy he didn’t need to cry.
“That’s because, there’s a phoenix in your future. And, on this very day, 13 years from now, you will be on a stage in the center of Bad Mitterndorf surrounded by crowds and the people you love. Music will be playing, you will be singing, and you wouldn’t even recognize the person you’ve become. Strong, powerful, elegant and beautiful – and someone who spreads love and kindness wherever she goes. All of Europe will know your name, and the world will be at your feet.”
If I had just one wish, that’s what I would wish for. Because wouldn’t it be nice to be able to save one of the people you love the most from so much pain.
As for Conchita Wurst, on this very special day, I couldn’t be happier for her, as there’s no-one I can think of that deserves this more.