Kim Petras spoke about finding and celebrating community as a way of dealing with the deluge of hate directed at trans people in a new interview on Call Her Daddy. “It’s such a beautiful, beautiful community and that’s one thing that I just like want people to know: The dolls have each other’s backs,” she said.
Asked how she handles the constant threats of transphobia, from daily indignities to repressive legislation, to actual violence, Petras said, “I feel like I need to hold it up for all the young kids that are trans and getting their rights taken away. I try to find the best causes to help, I try to stay in touch with all my trans friends. But in general, it’s brutal how people treat trans people. Everybody deserves to live their lives how they can.”
In her own life, Petras said she still gets “called a man every single day” but acknowledged that such treatment is “almost funny to me at this point.” She continued: “I feel like I’ve been called that since I was 12, so to me, it’s like, brush it off at this point. But I know how horrible that situation can be.”
Petras said she hoped that the “very public hate campaign” directed at trans people was just part of a down-swing, similar to the backlashes that have occurred during the fights for gay rights and other civil rights.
“It’s going to probably get better and swing back around — at least that’s what I hope,” she said. “But in general, know that there’s amazing people out there who have all got your back and think you’re really beautiful and you deserve everything. You deserve love, you deserve to be seen to who you really, truly are, and don’t settle for anything else. I’ve done it and it sucks!”
Earlier in the interview, Petras spoke about how her trans identity influences and inspires her music and career without defining it. Petras said she believed getting to write from the perspective of a trans woman gave her a kind of “strength,” but said what was so “special about music,” especially as she embarked on her career, was it all came down to the quality of the material.
“When I came to America and started going to studios, it really didn’t matter who I was,” she said. “It just mattered, am I good? Is my songwriting good? Can I sing? You know, and I feel like the more art that I get to put on, the more music I get to make, the more I become an artist, rather than, you know, all the labels that people put on me.”
Petras just released her official debut album, Feed the Beast. She’s set to embark on a world tour in support of the LP later this year, with a North American leg kicking off Sept. 27 in Austin and wrapping Nov. 22 in San Diego.