LONDON (AP) — Pop star Kim Petras is taking a stand for LGBTQ rights at the 2021 MTV EMAs.
The German singer-songwriter is performing at the EMAs ceremony in Budapest, Hungary, on Nov. 14 on the heels of the country's passage of legislation that critics say limits LGBTQ rights.
“I’m transgender and performing at the EMAs,” said Petras. “It’s going to be pretty powerful to be in Hungary and perform the show when these laws have just happened.”
The law passed by Hungary's parliament in June prohibits the display of content to minors that depicts homosexuality or gender change.
Chris McCarthy, president and CEO of MTV Entertainment Group Worldwide, recently stood by the decision to host the awards there. He said the ceremony was an opportunity to make a stand for gay and trans civil rights worldwide and no censorship of the telecast will be tolerated.
It’s a choice that Petras fully supports.
“I don’t feel good about those laws being passed, but I think it’s amazing that MTV is taking a stand and not allowing censorship,” Petras told The Associated Press.
She hopes it inspires the local LGBTQ community to “not give up on themselves” and to unite through music.
“Music is such a powerful thing because music is supposed to break barriers and it doesn’t really matter in music what gender you are, or what sexuality, what skin color you have, music is a very universal thing.”
The event will see the 29-year-old debut a brand-new song from her forthcoming, as yet untitled, debut album.
This follows the single “The Future Starts Now,” which she released in October — a song that Petras says is about her struggle to pick herself up from depression and overcome anxiety.
She admits that she struggles with living in the moment.
Petras adds that, while she loves what she does, she finds it hard to relax and stop working. She started therapy during the coronavirus lockdown to help process these feelings.
Writing the track helped get her through the pandemic so she also wanted to bring that philosophy and state of mind to her fans.
Ultimately, she says, “It’s the power of music that you can inspire people to feel better about themselves and try to be in the moment and try not to stress about the future.”
Hosted by American rapper Saweetie, the 2021 MTV EMAs will broadcast live on MTV channels in 180 countries.
Colombian star Maluma and Eurovision winners Måneskin will also perform on the live show. The night before, American band OneRepublic will headline the MTV World Stage Hungary in Budapest's Heroes Square.
Louise Dixon, The Associated Press