This article was published on March 27th, 2019
There are LGBT stars making names for themselves, most notably Janelle Monae, and the tried and true Gaga’s, Sam Smith’s, and Adam Lambert’s; however there are only a handful of trans stars making waves in the industry, and most notably is Kim Petras. There are modern day pop stars, and then there is Kim Petras. There really isn’t anyone else like her.
Dressed in her finest brown and white cow print mini skirt, tube top, and full-length cow print Cinderella gloves (in a nod to Monique Heart from RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Brown Cow Stunning), donning her signature hair bun, Kim Petras took the stage at nearly 4:00AM at this year’s headliner at Sydney Mardi Gras, delivering a sickening set to a massive crowd. This was no ordinary pride performance. Her slot at Mardi Gras was the same coveted position Cher held the year before; Petras must’ve realized she needed to slay the stage. Indeed: she did.
For a German girl standing at 5’6”, Kim Petras owns any room she performs in, her catchy hits like “Heart to Break”, “I Don’t Want It All”, “1,2,3 Dayz Up”, “If U Think About Me”, and “Close Your Eyes” are larger than life and always seem to get the crowds dancing—even if you’ve never heard of her. More of an indie pop star, Petras just finished a sold-out Australian tour, following her Mardi Gras gig, and recently put out a Halloween-inspired LP: Turn Off The Light, Vol. 1. Her songs have been streamed nearly 70 million times on Spotify.
What really sets Kim Petras apart from her contemporaries is the fact that she is transgender. Kim Petras made headlines in Germany at age of 13 on a current affairs show when she came out as transgendered and openly spoke about her personal life. Later appearing on talk shows and in a documentary, she successfully lobbied for permission to get full gender reassignment surgery at age 16. International media picked up the story, labeling Kim Petras as possibly the youngest person to have undergone the surgery.
Now, she advocates for transgender rights and is considered the world’s first transgender global pop superstar. Kim Petras has done countless amounts of interviews since and has always defined herself as a woman.
“I was asked if I feel like a woman now – but the truth is I have always felt like a woman – I just ended up in the wrong body”.
A former hair model in Germany, Kim Petras was releasing songs as early as 2014 onto her Soundcloud, like the track “STFU,” produced by The Stereotypes and Aaron Joseph. She was just featured in the Cheat Codes’ song “Feeling of Falling” at the end of 2018, and toured with Troye Sivan in 2018.
Kim Petras has already released three independent tracks in 2019, including “Homework” with Lil Aaron, toured North America and Australia, and was recently dubbed “most likely to dominate the pop charts.” Shortly after her debut, Nasty Galaxy deemed Kim Petras “the new princess of pop.” Sounds about right.