At the ceremony on 14 November, Kim Petras became the first out trans musician to perform at the MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs).
The Future Starts Now singer treated fans to two brand new songs from her upcoming debt album – Coconuts and Hit It From the Back.
Speaking to Metro before the show, she said: “I watched the EMAs since I was a kid. I grew up in Germany and it was a big deal for me when they happened.
“And being the first transgender performer on 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.”
In a bid to show solidarity with Hungary’s LGBTQ+ community, MTV held the awards show in Budapest.
Announcing the move on 19 October, MTV confirmed the choice was made after the country prohibited the “display and promotion of homosexuality” to those under-18.
“The decision was very clear to all of us. We should not move the event,” MTV Entertainment Group Worldwide President, Chris McCarthy, wrote in a memo to staff.
He continued: “Instead, we should move forward, using the show as an opportunity to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community in Hungary and around the world as we continue to fight for equality for all.”
Petras said that despite the hostility towards the community in the country, she chose to perform to remind people that “they’re not alone”.
She explained: “I just hope that it can bring joy to people watching it and that it can make people feel like they’re not alone because, with the censorship of LGBTQ media in Hungary, I think it’s so powerful that I get to perform and that I get to show who I am and that I don’t get censored, and MTV fought for that and I’m proud, I’m really excited.”
Writing on Twitter shortly after her show, Petras seemed pleased with her performance: “I came, I pegged, I conquered.”
As Viktor Orbán’s ruling party continues to curtail the rights of LGBTQ+ citizens, lawmakers in Hungary passed the legislation on 15 June – banning “content promoting gender change or homosexuality” within the school curriculum.
It was passed by 157 votes to just one in the National Assembly, despite leading human rights officials and activists in Europe criticising the bill as “an affront against the rights and identities of LGBTI persons”.
The ruling national-conservative Fidesz party were joined by the right-wing Jobbik party in overwhelmingly voting in favour of the new measure, while an independent lawmaker voted against it.
Leftist opposition parties boycotted the voting session in protest, while thousands of LGBTQ+ activists held a demonstration in Budapest on 14 June in an unsuccessful effort to prevent the new measure being passed into law.
LGBTQ+ activists and human rights groups have condemned the legislature, seeing it as another opportunity for LGBTQ+ citizens to be harassed and discriminated against because of their sexual orientations and/or gender identities.
I came I pegged I conquered @mtvema
— KIM PETRAS the BAGUETTE BICH 🥐 (@kimpetras) November 14, 2021