The "Malibu" singer is teaming up with MTV, Logo and Trans Lifeline to help young transgender voters update their government IDs to not be misgendered at the polls

By Benjamin VanHoose
June 26, 2020 12:05 PM
Advertisement

Kim Petras is helping transgender youth on one of their last steps toward actualizing their truest self.

The 27-year-old "Heart to Break" singer lends her voice to a new video that sheds light on an important issue: official documents that don't reflect one's gender identity and name.

Part of an initiative from MTV, Logo and Trans Lifeline, the campaign provides grants to young voters so they can update their government-issued IDs to not include their dead names and the sex they were assigned at birth. More than 250 people will benefit from the program, becoming able to safely and easily vote in the upcoming election.

"It sucks when your passport and ID say something else. You should be able to do anything as your true self," Petras tells PEOPLE, sharing from personal experience how correcting the documents is an "important" milestone.

In the short film, shared exclusively with PEOPLE, three trans and nonbinary voters — Coral, Owen and Aidan — explain the intimidation that comes with heading to the polls fully expecting to be misgendered or targeted because of an unmatched ID. "It's a terrifying moment, because I have no idea how someone will react to that," says Owen.

"Going to the voting booth without an ID that matches your true identity is very uncomfortable," adds Coral, as Aidan explains, "Having an ID is the first step in being able to use your voice and make that choice to make change."

"What if you couldn't vote as the person you truly are?" Petras narrates in the video, directing fans to register to vote online.

Kim Petras attends the Alexandre Vauthier Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2020 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 21, in Paris.
Pierre Suu/Getty Images

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories

Petras also opens up to PEOPLE about how she's been spending the coronavirus pandemic cooped up but productive, taking advantage of the isolation to work on new music. The artist also recently dropped her new single "Malibu."

"It's all I'm trying to achieve: I'm trying to bring a little summer into your quarantine and have a little bit of fun," she says of the song, which came accompanied with an infectious, star-studded at-home version of a music video, which features cameos from Paris Hilton, Demi Lovato, Charli XCX and more.

But one other pop icon showed love for "Malibu" — none other than Britney Spears recorded one of her Instagram fashion shows to the tune, a full-circle moment for Petras, who grew up in Germany as a big fan.

"I mean, incredible. I did not see that one coming — it was crazy," she says of the endorsement from the "...Baby One More Time" songstress. "In my childhood, I used to record Britney Spears' interviews and kind of learn English and repeat what she was saying. I feel like I learned English from Britney in the beginning, which is pretty amazing."

Discovering the video of Spears, 38, showing off her runway moves to "Malibu" was major for Petras, who posted it on Instagram with the caption: "this is the best day of my life ever @britneyspears 😭💗ilysm !!! 🐩💗"

Petras says Pride Month, for her, has always been about "celebrating everybody's differences and your individuality," but she hopes this year it is centered of self-reflection and activism, now more than ever.

"Pride, essentially, was a revolution, and it's good to remember that," she says, recalling the LGBTQ movement's roots to the 1969 Stonewall Riots and Marsha P. Johnson.

Pride bears a resemblance to the current reckoning happening across the country, she says, adding that the Black Lives Matter movement and protests against systemic racism are all about "demanding justice."

"I think it's amazing that this revolution is happening, and the gay community needs to be a part of that. That's what really matters right now," says Petras. "So I think it's important to think about that this Pride, and to help however you can — spread awareness and learn more about your own privilege."

"Everybody just wants equality," she adds.