Assi Asar will donate his earnings from Eurovision to an LGBT+ organization

A lot of young queer kids growing up wishing they could host the Eurovision Song Contest one day. Not a lot of kids actually get to grow up and do it. Assi Azar always knew he wanted to be, but he went through a lot to get there. As a child he would play with his sister’s Barbies and imagine they represented singers from different countries at Eurovision.

And now, at 39, he is hosting the biggest, campest, queerest show in the world.

"I never thought in my wildest dreams to host one of the biggest shows in Europe"

Prior to coming out, he was in conscripted military service for four years. He was an officer, teaching other soldiers.

"I was in the closet in the army and I was in love with one of my best friends. When one of my soldiers came out to me, he didn’t know I was also gay. I told him it was ok and in my head I didn’t know if my own parents would support me."

When it came to coming out, he said he was ‘sure’ his parents would throw him out of the house. It didn’t go well. 

Assi said: ‘My mom told me I was going to die alone, said I wasn’t going to have any kids, and I’ll get HIV. She said, “all I can think is you dancing naked in clubs.” That’s what she saw on TV. But the more time passed, the more she saw me in my relationships and my friends and my career, the better it got. My mom loves my husband – he designed her house.’

Assri və Albert got married in 2016 in Barselona. 

Now after 15 years of hosting live shows, he’s getting ready to co-host Eurovision. He’ll also be donating his fee, around NIS 105,000 [around $30,000, €26,700 ] to IGY – an Israeli gay youth charity.

"The money is not much, it’s public money,’ he said. ‘It’s not the reason why I’m doing Eurovision. I’d rather give it back to the public, to people who need it."