When Kim Petras and Sam Smith walked the red carpet with an entourage of gorgeous people in matching outfits, it was only the first moment of the night to set the internet aflutter: An hour into the ceremony, Petras and Smith won the Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for their absolute banger “Unholy.”
As Petras stepped up to the mic to accept the award—with Smith adorably gassing her up from a few feet behind—she said that Smith had told her to give the speech solo because she was the first trans woman to win in this category. (Smith was close enough, though, that the mic picked up them shouting “Yeah, stand up!” when audience members applauded Petras’ history-making win.)
With a smile so genuine and beautiful that it made me beam while watching from my living room, Petras thanked many of the artists who paved the way for gender-nonconforming people in the music industry, including Sophie—the Scottish music producer who died in 2021 and worked with Petras, Charlie XCX and other pop icons—who “told me this would happen,” Petras said.
She went on to thank Madonna and her efforts to fight for LGBTQ rights, saying, “I don’t think I could be here without Madonna.”
And then, in a moment that almost broke me, Petras thanked her mother for being supportive of her gender journey: “I grew up next to a highway in nowhere Germany, and my mother believed me that I was a girl.”
At a time in which trans and gay rights are terrifyingly under attack, to see such pure, unadulterated joy from a trans woman whose work is unapologetically sexy and sexual (I’m looking at you, “Slut Pop!”), on an international stage, with her nonbinary creative partner standing beside her, was incredibly heartening.