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Transvolcalizers/Kim Petras

| Feb 9, 2009
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Transvocalizers by Pamela DeGroff

This month Transvocalizers brings you a profile of a young singer who is Germany’s answer to Miley Cyrus, and she happens to also be the youngest person to begin the SRS process —  at the age of 12. Now she’s a talented, lovely young lady who’s tearing up the music charts. This month’s Transvocalizer — Kim Petras.

Kim Petras

Maybe it’s just because my generation (…tail end of the “baby boomers”…) Has started to get older, but have you noticed all the so called “new talent” just seems so young? Thanks to American Idol(atry) and the Disney Channel, a lot of the current crop that’s being mainstreamed isn’t even old enough to drive.

So why should the transgender music scene be any different? When you look at the story of German singer Kim Petras, we’re definitely keeping with this youthful talent trend.

Born Tim Petras, she received international notoriety at the age of 12 when she was featured in several articles as the “world’s youngest transsexual.” Although a sensational claim for any era, it’s erroneous in that children as young as six years old have been properly diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder and started the transition process. What makes Petras’s claim valid, however, is that she is probably the youngest to actually start receiving female hormone treatments.

In 2006 when Petras was 13, she appeared on Stern TV, a German current affairs/entertainment show. She used this appearance to describe the transition process and the medical treatments she was beginning to receive at the Endokrinologikum (Hormone Center) in Hamburg, under Dr. Achim Wusthof.

By age 14, Petras was generating worldwide press coverage after her appearance in a German television documentary, and on several talk shows, in a publicity campaign to get SRS by age 16. Under current German law, no person under the age of 18 is allowed such surgery. There are no instances of any exception being grand under this law, either.

The taunting that she experienced at a young age is what lead to the eventual diagnosis of transsexuality. It was through music and singing that Petras was also able to focus on something other than the torment she experienced almost daily. And, she discovered she was good at it.

“My music is most important to me at the moment,” she said in a previous interview. “It’s the way I can best express myself. I know that because of my past, people will always bring up the subject. I can’t get away from it. But I hope that one day I might be better known for my music than for my past.”

So far, Petras is starting to work on that goal by releasing her singles, Last Forever (as an independent project), and commercially in Europe Fade Away. She is signed to the German record label Joyce Records, and is expected to begin work on a full album project soon, although no specific time frame has been made available to the press or public yet.

Because of her age, she is probably being managed in a way that will avoid overexposure at this time. If you google her name, you’ll find quite a lot of material — a lot of it repetitious and most of it erroneously stating that she’s already had SRS. Her personal blog, mostly written in German but with a few English entries, is pretty much what you’d expect from any teenage girl in any country.

Kim Petras can be seen and heard on all the usual Internet outlets such as MySpace, YouTube, iTunes, etc., etc. While it’s apparent that she doesn’t have that much product out right now, there’s also no push to rush her into the mainstream music markets. She’s not trying to be made into the next Miley Cyrus clone, which is a good thing. She’s going to be faced with even more adjusting to deal with being a transsexual, along with a lot of just plain growing up to do.

If her parents, her management and record label, and all her new found fans (both trans and otherwise…) Allow her to develop her career and herself at her own pace, perhaps all of us will be blessed with many years of good music from this courageous and talented young lady.

Breaking News! TGF has just learned (see today’s TWIT Notes) that Miss Petras has very recently had her SRS. We’ll have more details in a special report by Pamela DeGroff next Monday, if not sooner.

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Category: Transgender Fun & Entertainment

Pam Degroff

About the Author ()

Pamela DeGroff been writing for TGForum since the start of 1999. Her humor column, The Pamela Principle, ran until 2005. She started the Perpetual Change music column in May of 1999, and in 2008, Angela Gardner came up with the idea for the Transvocalizers column and put Pam to work on that. Pamela was a regular contributor to Transgender Community News until that magazine's demise. While part of a support group in Nashville called The Tennessee Vals she began writing for their newsletter, and also wrote for several local GLBT alternative newspapers in Tennessee. Pamela is currently a staff reporter for a small town daily paper in Indiana, and is also a working musician.

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