Before even landing at Eurovision in Birmingham, Israel’s Dana International had to stare down her critics: The Orthodox community at home wanted the transgender singer banned from the contest. Conservative politicians called her an abomination, but European viewers embraced her — naming her their winner in the first contest that mandated televoting.

To mark the 25th anniversary of her win, this episode looks at queerness on the Eurovision stage and how the contest reflects a radical shift in public attitudes toward LGBTQ+ people across Europe. Long before gay marriage was legalized and transgender rights were encoded in law anywhere on the continent, the contest was already celebrating marginalized voices. 

“My victory proves God is on my side,” she said after her surprise win. “Try to accept me — I am what I am.”

You can listen on YouTube or wherever else you get your podcast.