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Gay Israeli singer tells crowds ‘Don’t boo Russia’ at Eurovision

Gay Israeli singer tells crowds ‘Don’t boo Russia’ at Eurovision

In an exclusive interview with Gay Star News, gay Israeli Eurovision entrant, Hovi Star, talked about Russia, bullying and being yourself.

During a promotional tour in the spring, Hovi was the victim of an apparent homophobic incident by Russian immigration officials who initially stopped him entering the country and ripped his passport.

Hovi needed diplomatic help in securing a new passport to be able to leave the country. Despite this, Hovi retains no bitterness towards the Russian people and urges fans not to take it out on this year’s Russian singer, Sergey Lazarev, at the Eurovision final on 14 May.

‘I don’t believe that because the Russian government people doesn’t like gay people, they should punish the citizens of Russia. I think one of the biggest audiences of Eurovision is based in Russia and I think it’s not fair to say “They’re not going to get Eurovision, kick them out of the competition” because I’ve heard these appalling things.’

When asked about the audience booing previous Russian acts, Hovi responded:

‘That’s not fair. If you’re thinking about booing anyone on stage, not just Russia or Israel or anyone then don’t come to Eurovision.

‘You have to understand that I’m doing this for the first time in my life and I’m working so hard for the last six months to get here and to do this. It’s not fair, Sergey is not the one that’s making the laws in Russia. He’s not the one that ripped my passport when I came to Russia.’

Hovi on being bullied

We asked Hovi about the bullying he received when at school because of the way he looked.

‘Sadly it comes with a price and let me tell you something. Every time someone bullies me or tells me that I can’t do something or tells me that something is not right with how I look or who I am, I go the other way around… I’ll be honest, sometimes not good things come out of this. When I was at school people beat me up, cursed me and sometimes I went home and I cried after because I didn’t want to go to school. But you have to wake up every morning and be strong.’

Watch excerpts of our interview here:

Hovi Star performs Made of Stars for Israel in the second semi-final on Thursday (12 May).