On Monday 6 February, news sites trumpeted that something historic had happened the night before, at an event most people care little to nothing about. German pop singer Kim Petras and English singer Sam Smith won a Grammy for the year’s “Best Pop Duo” for their song “Unholy.” The win was called “historic” because Kim Petras is a man who identifies and appears as a woman, making him the first “transgender” Grammy winner.
Setting aside for a moment how easy it is to be called “historic” these days—the term used to refer to someone who actually made history—”Unholy” is a song about “liberating” what the artists call “queer joy.” It’s not a song that is suitable for adults, much less for children. For example, despite the scandal that’s been swirling around a particularly awful Balenciaga ad campaign the past few months, Smith and Petras offer the company a strong endorsement in this truly unholy song. Even so, the song topped two of Billboard’s global charts back in October.
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