Kim Petras says her grandparents told her she was “going to hell”

Courtesy Apple Music

Kim Petras and Sam Smith may have won a Grammy for their number-one hit “Unholy,” but they’ve also faced backlash from their performances of the song, which some denounced as “Satanic” and “evil.” Kim says she and Sam were trying to illustrate how some people have made them feel their whole lives.

Speaking to Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1, Kim says the reaction to their performance reminded her of when she was a kid.

“It was like, ‘You are wrong and we need to try to fix you, and what can we put you on?'” she tells Lowe about her childhood. “I mean, from psychologists to mental hospitals, to doctors and all of that stuff because I knew [that I was transgender] so young … my childhood was all, like, mental hospitals.”

Even after Kim transitioned as a teenager, “I remember my grandparents saying, ‘Well, great that you found what you’re going to do, but you’re going to go to hell now.'”

She says, “I know Sam grew up around that same kind of thing, where it’s like, ‘OK, by being myself, I am now something evil and something that shouldn’t exist.’ Because people told you your whole life [that] you’re going to hell. So, [with the Grammy performance], it’s like, well, let’s show them hell. And we did that.”

“I think a lot of people were like, ‘Oh, they’re pushing this agenda and trying to make people what they are,'” she notes. “You can’t make people something they’re not … However you are and however you make it through life is valid and it’s great.”

Kim’s Feed the Beast tour in support of her new album of the same name kicks off in September, though she’ll open for the Jonas Brothers on August 4 in Mountain View, California.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.