Katy Perry has opened up over the weekend about balancing her sexuality with her religious upbringing, saying that as a youth she “prayed the gay away at Jesus camps” but later came to embrace diversity.
Accepting the National Equality Award at the 2017 HRC Los Angeles Gala Dinner on Saturday, Perry referenced her 2008 breakout hit “I Kissed a Girl” and told the crowd, “Truth be told, a) I did more than that! … But b), how was I going to reconcile that with the gospel-singing girl raised in youth groups that were pro-conversion camps? What I did know was that I was curious, and even then I knew that sexuality was not as black and white as this dress.”
Perry, whose parents were both pastors, recalled, “When I was growing up, homosexuality was synonymous with the word ‘abomination.'” The singer told the crowd how she had “prayed the gay away at my Jesus camps.”
However, she said, at some point, her “bubble started to burst,” as she encountered the people she had been “taught to fear” as a child.
“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,” Perry said. “They stimulated my mind, and they filled my heart with joy, and they freaking danced all the while doing it.”
“These people are actually, magic, and they are magic because they are living their truth,” Perry continued.
Watch Perry discuss her religious upbringing and eventual conversion to diversity in the video.