He’s the Austrian singer with Filipino heritage who was announced as a Eurovision 2020 star just last week. And in the days that followed, Vincent Bueno was immediately caught up in Euro-drama over a newspaper article published in Heute earlier this year.
The article, which has since been deleted, was originally published in March 2019 and titled “Auch Ich wünsche mir heterosexuelle kinder” (“I also hope to have heterosexual children”). The “also” referred to Austrian boxer Fadi Merza, who faced criticism earlier this year after he said that he wanted heterosexual children.
Merza subsequently clarified that he isn’t homophobic, but that he simply wants grandchildren (the assumption being it’s easier for straight couples to have kids). Merza got a lot of flack, partly because he made this statement at the Life Ball, which has many links to Austria’s gay community.
The Heute article suggested that Vincent, like Merza, wanted straight kids. The same article went on to say that Vincent said the sexual orientation of his kids is not up to him and that he would love his children no matter what their sexual orientation. That would seem to qualify the statement on wanting straight kids.
As many people have pointed out, gay people do, in fact, face some additional burdens and stresses (such as anti-gay harassment and violence) that a parent would not want their child to endure. Even while accepting that, others have stressed that such comments could negatively impact young gay people, who might not think they are valued.
Vincent Bueno says he is not homophobic and loves his gay cousin
In recent days social media has been alight with comments that Vincent is homophobic. On Tuesday, Vincent — who sang backing vocals for Nathan Trent at Eurovision 2017 — took to Instagram Stories to respond to the claims and to share his perspective.
Seated in front of his computer and speaking into his phone, he looks straight into the camera and seems to speak from the heart.
“I’ve been experiencing some crazy…bullying on Instagram,” he says, explaining that his account was limited after someone reported him, potentially for hate speech. As a result, he can only like comments but can’t actually respond to them.
“To clear things off, honestly guys, I am not a homophobe. For all the people who think that or all the people who believe the [newspaper], oh my gosh, guys. It’s really poor if you believe what’s been written about me or in that article.”
“I have a gay cousin. I love him so much and he knows that I love him so much. I have so many friends who are gay. I come from musical theatre. I even find that gays are [some] of the most funniest people. Without the gays, it’s going to be so boring in this world, man.”
He went on to thank those who have supported him during these difficult days.
“Thank you for all your comments and beautiful posts,” he says. “Because of this one article of Heute, it destroyed so much.”
“I love so many people that are LGBT, so please don’t get me wrong. This is just so important for me for you to know… I know I should be bigger than people who hate and do actual hate speech and I shouldn’t react to this. I should be way bigger than this but at the same time… my account has been locked.”
He ends by stressing that the people lashing out at him don’t know him like the many gay people in his life do.
“You guys don’t know me. A lot of people know me, especially a lot of gay people know me, and they know I’m not a homophobe. Please stop the drama. If you still want to hate I can’t stop you guys from doing that, but I have an army of lovers and supporters. We’re going to stick together. If you are getting tired of hating me, just switch to the other team because I think we can be friends and I’d love to have you on my team.”