Kim Petras marked her win for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance with Sam Smith by reminding folks how she trailblazed her way to the Grammy stage. “Sam graciously wanted me to accept this award because I’m the first transgender woman to win this award,” she announced from stage to huge applause and an ovation.
Smith then encouraged folks to keep standing up for his partner on “Unholy.” This is Smith’s first Grammy win as a nonbinary artist (they came out as nonbinary after winning four Grammys in 2015). “I just want to thank all the incredible trangender legends before me who kicked these doors open for me so I can be here tonight,” Petras said, who went on to remember a deceased friend who predicted she would end up on the Grammys.
She also gave a shout-out to Madonna for fighting for LGBTQ rights. Petras is not the first transgender artist to take home a Grammy.
According to Out, electronic music composer Wendy Carlos earned Grammys as a trans woman back in the ’60s. Multiple trans artists have also been nominated over the years. “I don’t think I could be here without Madonna,” Petras added, who added she grew up next to “a highway in nowhere Germany.” She also thanked her mom, who always treated her like a girl. “Unholy” was released in September as the second single from Smith’s four studio album Gloria.