Saviour of pop Kim Petras says she was ‘minimised to her genitals’ as a teenager transitioning under the public eye
Kim Petras has said she was “minimised to her genitals” when she was growing up in Germany, an experience she described as “disgusting”.
The trans pop icon, who is now based in LA, told iNews about her childhood and teen years in her home country.
Her new song “Malibu” was inspired, she said, by how she imagined the city while growing up in the German countryside “surrounded by nothing but cows”.
She said: “I grew up seeing Malibu on TV and having a magical movie imagination of it.”
Petras had to get used to the spotlight when she was just 13 years old as she began lobbying for gender confirmation surgery, which is illegal under the age of 18 in Germany.
She said she’d known she was a girl when she was two and was desperate to have her identity affirmed.
But when she was given special permission to have surgery at the age of 16, it made a young spokesperson she never wanted to be.
Splashed across newspapers and TV shows, she said: “It was a weird experience and minimised me to my genitals – that’s disgusting. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.”
Kim Petras has known she wanted to be a songwriter since she was 12 years old.
Kim Petras said that at “around 12 or 13, I was like, ‘I want to become a songwriter’.”
She added: “As a kid, I was obsessed with the Spice Girls, and Madonna’s Confessions on a Dance Floor and Gwen Stefani’s Love. Angel. Music. Baby had a massive impact on me – I knew I wanted to make albums like that.”
Her dreams of becoming a pop star provided an “escape” from bullying at school, but even now, having made her dreams a reality, she feels pigeonholed.
She said she has been forced to turn down collaborations when she can tell she is being used as a queer “token”.
“I’ve said no to a lot of collaborations where it was obviously like: ‘We need to get this person a gay fanbase, so we’ll put Kim Petras on their track,'” she said.
Being a visible trans woman is important to her but she doesn’t want it to overshadow her work.
Petras said: “I’d like to be written about because I’m good at what I do.
“I’d love to bring more awareness to transgender issues, but I know it can overshadow everything else.”