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Queer highlights of the Grammys 2023

The 65th annual Grammys was a big night for LGBTQ+ artists and our allies. The following is a rundown of key highlights from the award ceremony which took place at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on February 5.

The biggest news of the night, from a queer standpoint, was Kim Petras becoming the first openly trans woman to receive a Grammy for Best Pop Duo along with Sam Smith for their collaboration on “Unholy”.  Smith’s win is also history making as they are the first nonbinary artist to take home the award as well.

“I grew up “on the side of a highway in Nowhere, Germany, and my mother believed me that I was a girl, and I wouldn’t be here without her and her support.” Petras said in an emotional acceptance speech you can see below:

Petras was also sure to thank her musical influences including Sophie, a close friend and fellow transwoman and Madonna for her longstanding advocacy for our community.

Madonna later introduced Petras and Smith for their live performance that evening where she said:

“So, here’s what I’ve learned after four decades in music — if they call you shocking, scandalous, troublesome, problematic, provocative or dangerous, you’re definitely on to something.”–This being an obvious nod to the backlash Sam Smith has taken over their new image which is heavy on sexuality and body positivity.

Lesbian icon Brandi Carlisle won Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song for “Broken Horses” which she performed at the ceremony, being introduced by her wife and children before taking the stage. She also won a third Grammy for Best Americana Album for In These Silent Days.

Bisexual singer-songwriter Steve Lacy also won the Grammy for Best Progressive R&B Album for his sophomore album Gemini Rights.

It was a big night for some of our favorite LGBTQ+ allies as well. Bad Bunny brought the heat with an electrifying opening number and was also awarded with the Best Música Urbana Album Grammy for Un Verano Sin Ti. Lizzo won Record of the Year for “About Damn Time, Adele won Best Pop Solo Performance for “Easy on Me”; and then there’s Beyoncé.

Beyoncé became the most Grammy awarded artist in history this year winning her 32nd Grammy. This year she took home the trophies for Best Dance/ Electronic Recording for “Break My Soul” (which features a very prominent sample from Big Freedia), Best R&B Performance for “Plastic Off the Sofa”, Best R&B Song for “Cuff It” and Best Dance/Electronic Album for Renaissance which was the record breaking win. During her acceptance speech for Renaissance the superstar thanked the queer community for our love and for inventing the dance genre. She also made mention of her late, gay Uncle Jonny who she has previously recognized as a huge inspiration for the album.

For a complete list of nominees and winners click here.

John Hernandez

John A. Hernandez is a staff writer for Queer Forty with a focus on entertainment. He is also a writer for Vacationer Magazine and a contributor to Bear World Magazine and Gayming Magazine. He has a special love for all things horror and Halloween. He currently resides with his husband in New York City.

John Hernandez has 135 posts and counting. See all posts by John Hernandez

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