There are two things you should know about me.
One. I have amazing parents. Parents who brought me up to be respectful and kind to others, and never to do anything that deliberately hurts anyone. Life lessons learned young and never forgotten.
Two. My fiance died the day before our wedding. While awful at the time, it ultimately taught me life is too short to keep quiet when you see something happening you don’t like. Life is also too short to not spend the life you do have protecting the people you care about.
What these two things also mean is, when I see something I don’t think is right, there’s not a chance I can sit there and ignore it. Not with Mum, Dad and a dead fiance sitting on my shoulder — telling me how to behave.
And so we come to today’s thoughts on Conchita Wurst, and the question I’ve been wondering about for a while now.
If you love Conchita Wurst, why are you sharing photographs of Tom?
In a myriad of interviews since the day she won Eurovision, Conchita has talked about her need for a private life. A need so great that, as Tom, he’ll leave the house hatted, headphoned and sunglassed in an attempt to make sure you don’t recognize him.
A need for privacy, I believe, that is one of the big reasons he and Conchita are still so grounded, and a huge part of how Conchita will manage to remain kind, considerate, and respectful, and the person we all now love, even if decades of fame follow.
It’s also a privacy that will become even more precious and more difficult to achieve the more famous Conchita becomes. Or the more recognizable Tom is.
That’s why I’m saying to you now, if you love Conchita Wurst, please don’t share photographs of Tom Neuwirth. Love, admire, adore and share the beautiful creature who stands on that stage and sings her heart out. But give Tom the chance to have his life too.
After all, if you truly love someone, respecting their wishes should be everything, or it’s really not love at all.