Who’s Behind Vienna’s Gay-Friendly Traffic Lights?

Traffic lights in the city of Vienna have been transformed to show gay-friendly themed figures. As the Eurovision Song Contest approaches, Vienna, which is hosting this year’s edition, is preparing to welcome visitors by exchanging dozens of its traffic lights to depict male and female gay couples with hearts, Reuters reports.

The street-art campaign was devised by the city to showcase Vienna’s acceptance of the LGBT community.

The kitsch-filled Eurovision Song Contest, a musical celebration of campy Eurotrash, has been widely popular amongst LGBT viewers and has gained additional significance since last year’s edition was won by bearded transvestite Conchita Wurst.

This mainstream event, which launched the careers of music legends such as ABBA and Celine Dion, was also won by Israeli transgender diva Dana International back in 1998, and manages to catapult social issues such as homophobia and transphobia into mass media.

This year, 40 European countries will each send a contestant to Vienna for the finals taking place on May 23.

According to a spokeswoman for Vienna’s city lighting department, the campaign has also been developed for the dual purpose of increasing road safety. The city plans to collect data on whether or not the unusual symbols help attract pedestrians’ attention.

In the past, the inherent visibility and public nature of street art has encouraged several organizations to highlight social and political issues via public art projects. In April, a feminist campaign was launched in New York and Philadelphia raising awareness on catcalling (see Who is Behind the Guerrilla Campaign to End Catcalling?).


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