Kim Petras makes Grammys history and fans are elated: ‘I hope every young trans person sees this’

A screenshot of trans artist Kim Petras on stage at the Grammy awards with non-binary singer Sam Smith. The pair are dressed in red outfits, in the background you can see part of a large projected face of Kim Petras (Getty)

Kim Petras has made history at the 2023 Grammys after becoming the first openly trans woman to take home a win in the category of best pop duo/group performance.

The German pop singer won the award for best pop duo/group performance for their smash hit collaboration “Unholy” alongside non-binary artist Sam Smith.

The chart-topping song continues its record-breaking streak after the duo became the first out non-binary and trans soloists to take the top spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 back in October.

Accepting the award on stage with Smith, Petras gave an emotional speech paying homage to those who came before her, including late trans artist SOPHIE.

“I just want to thank all the incredible transgender legends before me who’ve kicked these doors open for me so I could be here tonight – Sophie, especially,” she said to a standing ovation from the crowd.

“My friend who passed away two years ago told me this would happen and always believed in me. Thank you so much for your inspiration, Sophie. I adore you, and your inspiration will forever be in my music.”

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SOPHIE fans were moved by Petras’ dedication to the late producer and musician, who died in January 2021 after falling from the balcony of an Athens apartment in Greece.

“Kim Petras thanking Sophie during her winning the first ever Grammy won by an openly transgender woman in the year that trans rights are under attack more than ever in history… Yeah, I cried,” said one fan.

Petras also thanked LGBTQ+ icon and seven-time Grammy award-winner Madonna, who attended the ceremony and introduced Smith and Petras to the stage for their winning performance.

“Madonna for fighting for LGBTQ+ rights, I don’t think I could be here without Madonna,” Petras said, who also gave a heartfelt nod to her mother, who always “believed” she “was a girl”.

In an interview following her win in the Grammys press room, Petras also reflected on her history with gay clubs.

“[People said] I would be a niche artist because I am transgender and my music would only ever play in gay clubs,” she began.

“I got a Grammy for making gay club music with my friends and that’s the best feeling in the world. I hope there is a future where gender and identity and all these labels don’t matter that much.

“Where people can just be themselves and not get judged and labelled so hard. I really hope for that because it was a big struggle for me growing up,” she continued.

“I hope all the kids that saw this that are special or different or feel like they don’t belong or can’t conform to society or have a place in it, feel inspired that you can be yourself and be rewarded for your talent.”

After delivering her moving speech, social media was abuzz with praise for Petras’ historic win, which comes at a time when trans rights are more under threat than ever.

“I know the world has been so scary, but it’s moments like this that I know our community will never be silenced,” one person wrote.

“Kim Petras became the first trans woman to win a Grammy. Trans kids everywhere got to witness what their future can look like. It gives me so much hope.”

Petras’ win follows in the footsteps of the incredible electronic music composer Wendy Carlos, who earned three Grammys as a trans woman back in the 60s for her album Switched-On Bach.

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