Kim Petras and Sam Smith just made Grammy nominations history

The 2023 Grammy nominations include Bad Bunny, “A Strange Loop,” Lady Gaga and more

Trans excellence will be on show at the 2023 Grammy Awards.

Nominations for the annual celebration of the year in music were announced Tuesday, and while big headlines included Beyoncé becoming the most Grammy-nominated artist in history, and plenty of love for perennial faves Taylor Swift and Adele, the nominations list includes some big wins for queer and trans artists.

German pop girlie Kim Petras, who is trans, and non-binary British crooner Sam Smith made history as the first openly trans nominees in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category for their song “Unholy,” which recently hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. 

Petras reacted to her Grammy nomination on Twitter in characteristic fashion:

Honestly, petition to make the “Trammys” a whole thing.

Petras joins other trans women nominated for Grammys, including electronic artist SOPHIE, who was nominated for Best Dance/Electronic Album for Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides; Teddy Geiger, whose song “In My Blood” was nominated for Song of the Year; and Canadian jazz legend Jackie Shane, whose previously unreleased album Any Other Way was nominated for Best Historical Album. All three of those nominations were for the 2019 Grammy Awards. In 2020 Arca received a nomination for her album Kick I. 

Composer Wendy Carlos won three Grammys for her album Switched-On Bach in 1969 when she was not publicly out as trans. The album’s success allowed her to pursue further medical transition and come out in the ’70s. She was later nominated for three more Grammys.

Other queer and trans 2023 Grammy nominations

There are plenty of other noms for queer and trans artists this year worth celebrating.

Beyoncé’s “Break My Soul,” which features a hook from trans singer Big Freedia, was a standout with nominations for Song of the Year and Record of the Year. Beyoncé’s album Renaissance—which was highly praised by queer communities and samples a wave of queer artists including Grace Jones—is up for Best Dance-Electronic Music Album.


Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny, who identifies as sexually fluid, was nominated for Album of the Year with Un Verano Sin Ti

The cast album for the Black and queer musical A Strange Loop was nominated for Best Musical Theater Album.

Lizzo received four nominations, including honours for her wildly catchy “About Damn Time,” while Grammy fave lesbian singer Brandi Carlile scored seven nods. And Lady Gaga earned two nods for her work on Top Gun: Maverick

And, of course, iconic gay faves ABBA are back again, with three nominations for their comeback album, Voyage. Dancing queens everywhere rejoice!

It wasn’t all good news for the queers, though, most notably in the Comedy Album category, where Dave Chappelle’s The Closer—which was slammed for its gross transphobia—is nominated. Cancel culture continues to definitely not be a thing.

The 2023 Grammy Awards will take place on Feb. 5. 

Senior editor Mel Woods is an English-speaking Vancouver-based writer and audio producer and a former associate editor with HuffPost Canada. A proud prairie queer and ranch dressing expert, their work has also appeared in Vice, Slate, the Tyee, the CBC, the Globe and Mail and the Walrus.

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Culture, Music, News, Trans, Non-binary

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