It seems like not only the contestants of one of the most famous talent show have the X factor, some of the judges have it too and it’s called Transphobia. In the second episode of the first series of X Factor Adria (aired in Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro and FYR Macedonia), one of the judges, famous pop singer Željko Joksimović (who represented Serbia and Montenegro in the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Lane moje”, placing 2nd and also in 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan and finished 3rd, and has been rumored to be a gay person himself) publicly discriminated a transgender contestant named Fifi (22), born Filip Janevski from FYR Macedonia.
Ok, so what happened? After Fifi’s introduction, judge Kristina Kovač checked with her in which gender she wants to be addressed to and Fifi said – „female“. This is when Željko Joksimović interrupted the conversation with the first transphobic and discriminatory remark:
„Wait wait, sorry, I don’t understand something here. Fifi, in your application it says Filip. How can we then address to you as a female?!“
„Well, I was born as a male and I identify as a female, I am transgender“
„You are a tranny (?). Crazy.“ said Joksimović.
But the audience instantly gave a supporting applause for Fifi and her fabulous bravery to stand out for herself. The other jury members were clearly uncomfortable with their colleague acting like a primitive and uneducated transphobic-homophobic jerk. Kristina Kovač then asked Fifi to sing her song and it was one of the most amazing acoustic interpretations of Cher’s Dov’e L’Amore! Everyone was stunned with Fifi’s voice and performance, the audience tread her with a strong round of applause and singed along, the three normal judges went completely ecstatic and delighted with Fifi’s singing.
„Fifi, you are such a refreshment! I have absolutely no remarks – you have it all: greate stage appearance, confidence, angelic voice, everything.“ said Kristina Kovač „I agree with Kristina! You have courage, you have attitude, your song was a great choice. It was good“ said Kiki Lesendrić
„Fifi I must say you are great on those high heals, you look very good in them. And your voice is really amazing.“ said Emina Jahović.
Aaaand that’s when the transphobic lowlife striked again:
„I don’t know what to tell „you“ (plural). There is two of you, haha… (ignorantly referring to Fifi as being both female and male)“.
That’s when he started shivering and shaking his head with disgust and disbelief.
„Filip, Fifi, please, sing me another song. I’m a bit shocked. I’m not too conservative“
„Oh really?!“ judge Kristina Kovač commented.
„No, I’m not, you know. OK, convince me that you are what you are. C’mon, please, sing a little bit more.“, the transphobe said to Fifi.
And yes she did! Melodic words „I am beautiful no matter what they say, words can’t bring me down, so don’t you bring me down today“ from Christina Aguilera were like a wonderful spell casted upon everyone present. Except Željko of course. He’s a transphobic and homophobic jerk. He answered:
„I would really go against my self if I would say that I like what you are doing, I don’t. But you sing good.“
Nevertheless, that’s when Fifi got three strong YESes from the jury and a NO from the transphobe. Despite his big fat transphobic NO, Fifi is going to the next round and we can’t wait to see her again!
Following this „incident“, Serbian LGBT organizations Labris and GAYTEN-LGBT strongly condemned this behavior of Serbian representative in Eurovision 2012. “Željko has shown disrespect, disbelief and disgust, and has ultimately discredited her as a contestant only on the basis of her gender identity, but not on basis of her singing ability. Željko, as a public person, is responsible for what he is saying in the show. Moreover, he showed basic ignorance of the law on gender expression and he has violated the anti-discrimination law by judging a person based on her personal identity and not her vocal abilities. In this way, Joksimović contributes even more to the difficult position of transsexuals and all LGBT people in Serbia who are exposed to daily violence and discrimination on multiple levels“ the statement of LGBT Serbia. Željko Joksimović has been avoiding press after this X Factor Adria show. Unfortunately, neither the Serbian state officials, the broadcasting TV Pink, or the most visible LGBT organisation Belgrade Pride Parade didn’t make any official statements about this horrible incident. The production company MBK Production allegedly stated that they stand behind their jury and that there was no hate speech and discrimination. Ha-ha.
So, please support Fifi and everyone who is brave enough to publicly stand up for who they are. This is her story:
“I come from Skoplje and I have a small career there. I have a couple of songs, videos and festival performances behind me. I started to identify as a female when I was 12 years old. The need for hiding has disappeared. I just thought that there was no need to hide anymore. Who and what you are on the inside, should be on the outside too, no matter what other people think. You should be brave and stand up for what you feel and what you want. Women should be proud for being women, because women are something most wonderful in the world!”
And you are beautiful and wonderful too Fifi! We love you.
Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/lazaralazara/is-transphobia-a-part-of-the-x-factor-general-poli-6qjt
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