This year’s Eurovision contest has embraced the LGBT community more than ever. Maybe there weren’t many gay participants, but the contestants were all supportive of the LGBT community.

Russia’s favorite Sergey Lazarev didn’t win, but if he had won he said that Russia would welcome gay people for next year’s Eurovision.

Held in Stockholm, the gay-friendly European capital, the contest had its winner, and that was Jamala from Ukraine. Last time Stockholm hosted Eurovision was in 2003, but 2016 appeared to be more gay-friendly.

Here are some of the impressions from those involved in this year’s Eurovision. Contest’s producer Christer Bjorkman remarked:  ‘If you perceived it as gay last time you probably will this time. It has a lot to do with Petra’s humor. She’s sort of an icon for us.’

Petra anticipated: ‘It’s going to be just as gay – don’t you worry.’

The contestants were very supportive of the LGBT community. UK artists Joe and Jake highlight how grateful are for the gay fans.

‘We’ve had a lot of love from all of the gay community and all the gay fans, and we’d like to give that love back to them and just say thank you.’

For Nicky Byrne, everyone’s the same: ‘It’s the same as every viewer. To me – gay, straight – it makes no difference. So, everybody is out to have fun, enjoy the show, and vote for Ireland.’

One of the few out contestants, Douwe Bob, from the Netherlands, said: ‘I think personally it shouldn’t matter if you are gay or not. If you are a fan of something you love, that’s a good thing. It’s a beautiful thing.’ but Douwe added: ‘I don’t consider myself out because I’ve never been in.’

Ukraine’s representative, Jamala thinks that an artist’s most important characteristic is to be who they are: ‘Be real, be yourself. No matter what they say we have important thing that god creates us and we are different and it’s a good thing that we can be different.’

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