The most popular gay magazine in the UK, Gay Times (GT) chose Israeli transgender superstar Dana International for this month’s “LGBT Heroes” section, which previously included Elton John and George Michael.
“On 9 May 1998, the National Indoor Arena of Birmingham bore witness to the global arrival of a mega-diva and instant gay icon, the incomparable Dana International,” the magazine explains its choice in the opening paragraph. “As winner of that year’s Eurovision contest, she personified all the drama of her winning song ‘Diva’, and secured her place not just as a Eurovision icon, but an indisputable LGBT hero.”
Dana was selected as an LGBT Hero in a special project of the magazine to find the 30 most prominent LGBT Heroes in the world, as part of celebrating 30 years of the magazine. In the interview with Dana she was asked to reveal who her LGBT hero.was “You know Divine back in the 80s? That was my biggest, sorry to say,” Dana replied. “But even today I watch shows that I liked and I’m shivering, you know? I liked the make up so much, the person, you could understand how just by seeing and hearing the songs and the video clips that this person just didn’t give a damn about anyone else. And maybe it gave me courage in my unconscious.”
One of the fun questions Dana was asked was what was her favorite word in Hebrew: “BARUUUUR! Which means ‘obvious.’ Like when someone says something that you already know and they know that you already know. I’m always saying it, you don’t know how many people are saying it right now. The exact word is “barrur,” it’s short, but for us is barrrrruuuurh.”
This year was very busy for Dana International, not only because of her new reality TV show, where she formed a new all-girl pop group, but also because of the work on her next album, which she promises will be different from what Dana has done up to now, because she would like to do something that she truly loves, rather than something the radio will necessarily play. Dana is also well aware of her glamorous stage persona, and she intends to keep giving us extravagant performances, even though she admits that she is a little bit tired of being a diva.
“I was much happier when I wasn’t getting all that much hype,” she tells Gay Times. “I’ve been there, done that, again and again, and I’m looking for fresh things to excite me these days. And a diva is like a person you are when you’re 25. But when you’re 45… it’s a different kind of diva. “
“I want to be a teenager again, rather than be a diva. I want to not feel responsible for the decisions that I make because I was giving 20 years of my life to my career just doing what I was told to do. And more freedom to do what I want to do when I want to do it.”