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This Eurovision Star Came Out by Kissing a Man and Woman on Stage

This Eurovision Star Came Out by Kissing a Man and Woman on Stage

This Eurovision Star Came Out by Kissing a Man and Woman on Stage
Instagram/@melovin_official

But the moment was cut from the televised event and Ukrainian singer Mélovin is not happy. 

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If you're gonna come out, you might as well do it on stage. That’s exactly what former Eurovision contestant Mélovin did during his Atlas Weekend performance on July 5

The singer, who represented Ukraine in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest and finished 17th overall, took the opportunity to show the world who he truly is. During the performance at Ukraine's biggest music festival, Mélovin first shared a passionate kiss with a woman, then turned and did the same with a man. He followed this by pulling out a pride flag and waving it proudly. 

The singer shared the video on Instagram, writing that a person’s “colour, faith, or gender” doesn’t matter to him because “you need to love a person, body, soul.” 

“We are a strong people,” he added. “We are not afraid to move forward, feel the rhythm of time, and keep up with other democratic countries.”

According to Ukraine Pride, an LGBT+ non-profit group, this performance was historic as it marked the first public, onstage coming out in the country’s history, reported the Kyiv Post.

While the video has racked up more than 50K likes on Instagram, the moment didn’t make it to broadcast. Mélovin claimed on Instagram that his “official coming out” was cut on the TV channel M1. 

“Should the struggle for one’s rights and freedoms be censored?” wrote the singer. “If not, I unequivocally support you. And if so, I’m not sure I want to exist in such a future for Ukraine.”

In response, StarLightMedia, which operates the M1 channel, claims it didn’t censor the kiss on purpose in a statement posted to Facebook. It explained that it wasn’t informed about the planned kiss and cut away to another scene “following traditional broadcast principles”.

The broadcaster went on to say it was “pleased to welcome” Mélovin’s act, “which made one of the first such statements among public people in Ukraine,” adding, “We hope that this will be the beginning of a new level of security, dialogue, and protection of the rights and opportunities of the LGBT+ community in Ukraine.” The channel also posted the full version of the singer's performance, including the kiss, on YouTube a day later.

The situation for LGBTQ+ persons in Ukraine is complicated. On the one hand, they do have some basic protections. For instance, same-sex relationships are legal in and transgender men and women can gain recognition for their gender. On the other, nonbinary people cannot. They also have legal protection against housing and employment discrimination. Same-sex marriage, however, is not recognized and LGBTQ+ persons cannot adopt. While attitudes toward LGBTQ+ individuals are shifting in Ukraine, the Pew Research Center reports low levels of acceptance

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Rachel Shatto

EIC of PRIDE.com

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.