A photo of Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and his wife, Gauthier Destenay, has gone viral across the Internet… again!
The only problem? That is NOT them, and here are the facts!
Claim : This Is Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel + His Wife!
People have been sharing this viral photo since 2019, but it keeps going viral again in pro-Russia and pro-CCP groups on WhatsApp, Telegram and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel arriving for a function with his wife,Gauthier Destenay.
The Prime Minister of Luxembourg and his coquettish wife, with beards and fishtail skirts, are very fashionable, what do you think?
Luxembourg Prime Minister Bettel arrived in Beijing yesterday with his “Madame” and started his visit to China. This is the world’s first gay prime minister Can wait and see! !
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Truth : That Viral Photo Of Luxembourg PM + His Wife Is FAKE!
This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS designed to disparage the LGBT community and/or European / NATO leaders.
The very fact that this claim was resurrected from 2019, after Europe heavily sanctioned Russia for invading Ukraine, tells us that this is hardly coincidental.
It then went viral again in March 2023, right after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In any case, here are the reasons why this is NOT a photo of the Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, or his wife.
Fact #1 : Xavier Bettel Is Married To Gauthier Destenay
Xavier Bettel is Luxembourg’s first openly gay Prime Minister, and he married his partner, Gauthier Destenay, a Belgian architect.
Bettel and Destenay had been civil partners since 2010, but was able to marry each other on 15 May 2015 – a year after the Luxembourg Parliament approved same-sex marriage.
Here are the real photos of Luxembourg Prime Minister Bettel (right) with his partner, at their town hall wedding.
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Fact #2 : That Was Photo Of Conchita Wurst + Andre Karsai
The viral photo is actually of famous Austrian singer and drag queen, Conchita Wurst, and her business manager and the executive director of her company, Andre Karsai.
Conchita is actually the drag queen persona of Thomas Neuwirth, with a fictional backstory – Conchita was born in the mountains of Colombia, and married to French burlesque dancer Jacques Patriaque (Neuwirth’s actual friend)
He says this Conchita Wurst persona is similar to Beyoncé’s Sasha Fierce alter-ego, and uses it as a way to protect his private life.
Neuwirth is gay but not a trans woman. He uses the he/him pronouns when referring to himself, but uses she/her to describe his Conchita Wurst character.
Conchita Wurst is best known for winning the Eurovision Song Contest 2014. She also had a cameo in the 2020 movie, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.
Here is an interesting fact about the character’s name. Conchita is a Spanish slang word for vagina, while Wurst is a German slang word for penis. So Conchita Wurst literally means vagina penis!
In 2019, Neuwirth introduced a new mononymous persona called WURST, which would allow for a “more masculine expression”.
Fact #3 : That Photo Was Taken At 2019 Vienna Opera Ball
The viral photo was taken at the Vienna Opera Ball that took place 28 February, 2019, by Jeff Mangione of Kurier magazine. Here is Conchita Wurst with the Austrian Minister of Justice, Dr. Josef Moser.
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And here was her Instagram post at Wiener Opernball 2019 :
Fact #4 : Luxembourg PM Bettel Visited China Twice
As Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Bettel paid two official visits to China :
- 11-14 June 2017 : Bettel visited China together with two ministers.
- 27-28 March 2019 : Bettel visited China to witness the signing of several bilateral agreements, and to speak at the Boao Forum for Asia.
There is no evidence that his partner, Destenay, ever accompanied him on his trips to China.
Just in case Chinese netizens are “confused”, let me be clear – that viral photo was not taken in China, during Bettel’s official visit.
Here is an actual picture from Bettel’s official visit to China in 2017.
This photo is being circulated in pro-Russia and pro-CCP groups, as a way to both disparage LGBTQ people and EU / NATO leaders during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Please help us fight such fake news – SHARE this fact check out, and SUPPORT our work!
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.
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