Kim Petras says being a cover girl for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit was a ‘huge confidence boost’


Trans icon and pop titan Kim Petras has opened up about being the second ever trans woman to feature on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Kim Petras is a name that exists in the zeitgeist somewhere between Pedro Pascal, Lukas Gage and Sam Smith. Basically, she’s one of the internet’s queer darlings, and you can’t open Twitter these days without seeing an adoring mention of the “Unholy” singer.

Aside from collaborating with Nicki Minaj and announcing her most recent debut album – even though she’s seemingly had a few – Petras has had a busy few months.

It would be remiss to not mention her collab with Sam Smith, which made her a Grammy winner and the poster child for conservative rage, all because the pair had the audacity to sing about sex.

And the Petras popularity train isn’t pulling into the station any time soon. Sports Illustrated has announced the pop princess as one of the cover stars of their prestigious annual Swimsuit issue, making her the second trans woman to feature on its pages after model Leyna Bloom in 2021. For the pop star, that significance is not lost.

“I was so excited when I got the call to be in Sports Illustrated,” Kim Petras told the publication. “It’s very iconic, and a lot of very iconic people have done it before, so [it was a] big dream come true for me.”

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“It’s definitely a scary time to be transgender in America, but there’s also so much more representation than there’s ever been, and there’s so many things on the bright side,” Petras also told the magazine.

“I do feel a pressure sometimes to represent the trans community with everything I do, because I feel very blessed that I am at this point where I have all these amazing opportunities that I’ve worked really hard for and feel so happy when I hear from trans people in general that they’re inspired by me.”

Speaking to People, Kim Petras also shared that the Sports Illustrated team made her feel “really comfortable” during the shoot, and instilled a real sense of belonging.

“It’s super exciting to have my Sports Illustrated cover and album announcement happening at the same time! Yu Tsai and the whole team at Sports Illustrated made me feel … like I belonged there. I had the best time and, honestly, it was a huge confidence boost.”

Kim Petras also mentioned her debut album, titled Feed the Beast, which will be released on 23 June.

“I am so excited that my album is coming out,” the Grammy winner said.

“It has been in the works for three years. I’ve really sacrificed my entire life to it and have been writing these songs that mean the world to me. I feel like it’s something that you’ve never heard from me before!”