Kim Petras Becomes First Openly Trans Artist To Perform At The EMAs


“I’m super excited. I watched the EMAs since I was a kid,” said Petras.

German trans artist Kim Petras made history at last night’s MTV European Music Awards (EMAs) in Budapest, becoming the first openly trans artist to perform at the event.

Petras, whose debut album drops in 2022, performed two songs, “Coconuts” and “Hit It From the Back” at last night’s ceremonies. 

“I’m super excited. I watched the EMAs since I was a kid,” Petras said in a statement reported by the UK’s Metro. “And being the first transgender performer 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.” 

Although Hungary has become increasingly hostile to LGBTQ+ rights under the ruling conservative party, MTV defended its position to hold this year’s ceremonies in Budapest — the first in-person since the Covid pandemic — as a show of support for the country’s LGBTQ+ community, the BBC reports

American artist Saweetie, who hosted last night’s ceremonies, called for tolerance and respect as she addressed the audience, adding, “That’s why it’s so important we stand up for the LGBTQ+ community.” 

Although queer icons Lady Gaga and Lil’ Nas X lost out last night to Ed Sheeran for Best Artist, Lil’ Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” did snag the award for Best Video.  

In recent years, the Hungarian government has imposed restrictions on LGBTQ+ rights. Last year, the Parliament approved legislation that redefined “family” as consisting of a male father and female mother, effectively banning same-sex families and single parents from adopting. 

This year, the country adopted legislation that banned LGBTQ+-related material from being distributed to minors. In July, a bookseller in Budapest was fined for making a book featuring same-sex families available to minors

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