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, the president and chief executive officer of MTV Entertainment Group Worldwide, defended the choice to hold the awards. The ceremony, he said, was an opportunity for the LGBT community to take a stand and there will not be any censorship.

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.”

At the event, she will debut a brand new track from her debut, yet untitled 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 admitted that it is difficult for her to live in the moment.

Petras says that while she enjoys what she does and loves her job, it is difficult to stop working. To help her process the emotions, she started therapy in response to coronavirus lockdown.

She wrote the song to help her get through the pandemic.

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.”

The 2021 MTV EMAs hosted by Sawetie (American rapper) will be broadcast live via MTV channels from 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.


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