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Kim Petras: ‘Dream come true’ to be first transgender performer at EMAs

Kim Petras (David Parry/PA)
Kim Petras (David Parry/PA)

Kim Petras has said it is “a dream come true” to be the first transgender performer at MTV’s music awards ceremony.

The German-born pop star will sing a track from her forthcoming album at the MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs) being held in Budapest, Hungary, on Sunday November 14.

MTV recently stood by the location of the awards show despite the country’s recent passage of legislation widely condemned as anti-LGBT.

Petras said: “I’m super excited. I watched the EMAs since I was a kid. I grew up in Germany and it was a big deal for me when they happened.

“And being the first transgender performer on there is very surreal to me and very amazing because I remember never seeing a transgender pop star at the EMAs when I was a kid and so it’s a dream come true, it’s a full-circle moment.”

The 29-year-old described the song she will be performing as “super pop, super out there, and fun” – which she said is everything that she is to her “essence”.

She added: “And I just hope that it can bring joy to people watching it and that it can make people feel like they’re not alone because, with the censorship of LGBTQ media in Hungary, I think it’s so powerful that I get to perform and that I get to show who I am and that I don’t get censored, and MTV fought for that and I’m proud, I’m really excited.”

Petras also discussed how she has seen progress for LGBT rights over the last few years, saying: “I love the LGBTQ community, I have been a part of it since I was a kid, and I think a lot of change has happened over the last few years in America, in Germany, about gender just not being that big of a deal.

“And I just want to be a part of people not judging people so much, people being able to live however they want to live, and it not being banned or censored.

“I just think that’s a backwards way of thinking and I want to be a part of liberating people to be themselves and to be brave enough to be themselves because I’m someone who felt like I had to hide as a kid.”

The singer-songwriter, who was an independent artist for four years and has now signed to Republic Records, credits RuPaul Charles with being an inspiration for her while she was growing up, describing them as a “ray of light and hope for so many members of the LGBTQ community”.

Other performers at the EMAs ceremony will include 2021 Eurovision winners Maneskin and Colombian singer Maluma.

– The 2021 MTV EMAs will be broadcast on MTV UK on Sunday November 14 at 9pm GMT.

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