The Netherlands’ Duncan Laurence has made an impassioned plea for tolerance following his win at the Eurovision Song Contest.
The singer-songwriter and former contestant on The Voice Of Holland sent a message in support of the LGBT community, saying people should be seen for “who they are” irrespective of their sexuality.
Laurence, who is bisexual, clutched his trophy as he spoke to reporters following his win in Tel Aviv, Israel.
The 25-year-old won over the voting public and the international juries, securing 492 points with his piano ballad Arcade.
He said: “I think the most important thing is that you stick to who you are and see yourself as I see myself, as I see (fellow contestants) Sergey, as I see Chris, as I see you, just a human being.
“As a person who has talents, who, with this trophy, will in however many years stick to what they love – even if they have a different sexuality.
“Stick to what you love and make the best of it, and love people for who they are. That’s the most important message. Dream big.”
Asked how his victory felt, he replied: “First of all I get to meet (Israeli former Eurovision winner) Netta, that was the best present, and then I got this trophy from her.
“No words, this can’t be described in words – and I can’t write a song about this. I can’t tell this in words. I am so happy right now. It came through, it really came through.”