Katy Perry opened up about sexual experimentation and her religious upbringing while accepting the National Equality Award at the Human Rights Campaign Gala in L.A. on Saturday, March 18.
The “Roar” songstress, 32, explained the inspiration behind her 2008 hit “I Kissed a Girl.” “I speak my truths and I paint my fantasies into these little bite-size pop songs,” she told the audience. “For instance, ‘I kissed a girl and I liked it.’ Truth be told, I did more than that.”
The pop superstar says she struggled with her sexuality because she was raised by two pastor parents and grew up singing in church. “How was I going to reconcile that with a gospel-singing girl raised in youth groups that were pro-conversion camps? What I did know was I was curious and even then I knew sexuality wasn’t as black and white as this dress,” she said, referencing her gown. “And honestly, I haven’t always gotten it right, but in 2008 when that song came out I knew that I started a conversation and a lot of the world seemed curious enough to sing along, too.”
Perry added that at first she tried to “pray the gay away” in herself, but after meeting more LGBT people, her whole perspective changed. “I found my gift and my gift introduced me to people outside my bubble and my bubble started to burst,” she said. “These people were nothing like I had been taught to fear. They were the most free, strong, kind and inclusive people I have ever met. They stimulated my mind, and they filled my heart with joy, and they danced with joy while doing it. These people are actually magic, and they are magic because they are living their truth.”
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