Singer Thomas Neuwirth's drag persona of Conchita Wurst on Saturday won the 59th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Conchita, who beautifully combines masculinity and femininity by wearing a full beard in her act, won over the judges with the power ballad Rise Like a Phoenix. (Video of her performance is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

In accepting her trophy from last year's winner, Denmark's Emmelie de Forrest, an emotional Conchita dedicated the win to “everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom.”

“We are unity,” she is quoted as saying by the AP.

Some in Eastern Europe had protested Austria's entry.

Calling the event a “Europe-wide gay parade,” Vitaly Milonov, the St. Petersburg lawmaker whose 2011 ordinance banning the promotion of “gay propaganda” to minors inspired a nationwide law that led to calls for a boycott of the Winter Olympics held earlier this year in Sochi, Russia, asked Russia's Eurovision selection committee not to send Russian musicians to Eurovision.

“The participation of the obvious transvestite and hermaphrodite Conchita Wurst on the same stage as Russian singers on live television is blatant propaganda of homosexuality and spiritual decay,” Milonov said.

After her win, Conchita was asked by reporters whether she had anything to say to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I don't know if he is watching this now, but if so, I'll say it: We're unstoppable,” Conchita responded.