I am pretty disappointed that from the very first day when Public TV announced Aram MP3 as Armenia representative in Eurovision, he started making homophobic and transphobic remarks, especially in relation to Austrian representative in Eurovision. I am sure Eurovision fans in Europe, including many LGBT people, won’t be impressed to learn about Aram MP3 statements so far.
In his first Public TV appearance following the nomination, answering pretty ridiculous question by Armenia Eurovision delegation head: [what is your opinion about Austria’s “the bearded woman” Conchita’s “orientation”?], Aram MP3 replied that for him it’s “not normal”, “not adequate” and as if jokingly continued: ‘hopefully, we will help her to eventually decide whether she is a woman or man’. [see video (in Armenian) from 30:43 minutes]
A note for Armenian media and for Aram MP3 re drag artist Conchita Wurst [Conchita is not perceived as drag act but rather trans, gay by many in Armenia]:
Because of the discrimination against Tom in his teenage years, he created Conchita. The Bearded Lady, as a statement. A statement for tolerance and acceptance- as it's not about appearances; it's about the human being.
On 20th March, during press conference with local reporters, similar remarks repeated again.
Reporters also asked about his opinion of Austrian representative Conchita Wurst. Aram MP3 confessed smiling: ‘it will be difficult’.
“I just realised that, after all, we will be on the same stage, because as part of the Eurovision all participants perform one song together. If you want to know my position, when I pass next to Kom aygi [Unzipped: cruising park in downtown Yerevan frequented by gay men and particularly trans sex workers], I speed up my car. In this case [re Conchita], I will try to somehow put up with.”Such references to Kom aygi are being routinely used in Armenia by media and individuals to stir-up or gave in to homophobic and transphobic sentiments among mainstream public. Participation of Austria's Conchita led to calls to boycott Eurovision by homophobic circles claiming it would be ‘dishonour’ for Armenia participant to be on the same stage with Austrian representative.
Լրագրողները նաև հետաքրքրվեցին, թե ինչպիսին է նրա մոտեցումը Ավստրիայի ներկայացուցիչ Կոնչիտա Վուրստի նկատմամբ: Արամը ժպիտով խոստովանեց, որ դժվար է լինելու: «Նոր հասկացա, որ այդուհանդերձ նրա հետ նույն բեմում ենք գտնվելու, քանի որ «Եվրատեսիլի» շրջանակներում բոլոր մասնակիցներով պետք է համատեղ մեկ երգ կատարենք: Իսկ ընդհանրապես, եթե ուզում եք իմանալ իմ մոտեցումը, ապա «կոմայգու» մոտով անցնելիս ես արագացնում եմ իմ մեքենայի ընթացքը. այս դեպքում պետք է մի կերպ համակերպվել»,- ասաց Արամը:
The following day, during his RFE/RL Facebook ‘press conference’ (event's page), many Armenian FB users expressed their dismay about his remarks from above meeting with journalists.
In reply to criticism, Aram MP3 said he only “jokingly" noted that it would be difficult for him, ‘to make journalists laugh’, but he was “honest”: “I do not live such life, and regardless how the world progressed or regressed, this is an unacceptable subject matter for me.” After journalist’s insistence, he stated he did not mean to offend Conchita. [see video (in Armenian) from 7:39 minutes]
I dare Aram MP3 to repeat such “jokes" and views to European journalists covering Eurovision.
I am not a big fan of his song, but good for Aram that it quickly became top viewed among Eurovision entrants on YouTube and bookmakers’ favourite. Shame for Aram’s amateurish attitude towards his colleagues and for his repeated homophobic and transphobic remarks.
I hope and wish that mixing with the Eurovision crowd will open up his eyes to diversity of people, and to the importance to respect and value such diversity.
I will not be voting for Aram MP3, because I simply cannot vote for someone with such views. You decide yourself. But if he wins, I will be only happy to see "gay parade" Eurovision coming to Armenia, although it would be ironic that a person with such questionable views would make this happened.