EUROVISION’S VASIL IS READY TO BE A VOICE FOR LGBTQ PEOPLE IN NORTH MACEDONIA AND THE BALKANS

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05/02/2021

When Vasil Garvanliev declares early on in our interview that being gay is probably the least interesting thing about him, it’s hard to argue: Born in 1984 in the city of Strumica – then part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – North Macedonia’s 2021 Eurovision representative is a former child star whose family fled to the US in the late ’90s at the onset of the war in Kosovo – only to find his refugee status revoked, along with many others, a few short years later in the wake of 9/11. After an already difficult period as a non-English-speaking, closeted, once-famous musical prodigy thrust into the shark tank of the US school system, the expulsion of Vasil’s family from the United States just as he was due to head to college sparked a nomadic, international lifestyle for the classically trained singer, who spent time performing opera in London, Toronto and Chicago before returning to his native country three years ago to pursue a pop career.

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