Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.
VIENNA — So… who was the real Conchita Wurst?
The one on stage, of course. But with some of the fans gathered Sunday to fete the hirsute Austrian drag queen wearing fake beards, it was a justified question.
State broadcaster ORF estimated that 10,000 people celebrated Wurst’s win of the Eurovision Song Contest and to listen to her rendition of “Rise Like a Phoenix” – the number that gave her the prize.
The square in front of Chancellor Werner Faymann’s office proved too small, forcing much of the crowd into a nearby park.
Wurst said her Song Contest victory is “not for me, but for people who believe in a future with progress.” In a meeting with Wurst, Faymann praised her as a symbol for “tolerance, love and joy of life.”
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“All unwillingly I opened my eyes – then I opened them wider, and lifted my head. The heat, my weariness, were quite forgotten. Piercing the shadows of the naked stage was a single shaft of rosy limelight, and in the centre of this there was a girl: the most marvellous girl – I knew it at once! -that I had ever seen.”
― Sarah Waters