Katie Perry gave a powerful account of her past struggles with sexuality in a speech for the Human Rights Campaign Gala on Saturday night.
Opening up about her strict Christian upbringing, the ‘I Kissed a Girl’ hitmaker said she was taught to ‘pray the gay away’ in pro-conversion youth groups as a child.
“My first words were Momma and Poppa, God and Satan,” she told the audience. “Right and wrong were taught to me on felt boards … When I was growing up, homosexuality was synonymous with the word abomination.”
Watch the clip here:
I speak my truths and I paint my fantasies into these little bite size pop songs. For instance, ‘I kissed a girl and I liked it.’ Truth be told — a) I did more than that, but b) how was I going to reconcile that with a gospel singing girl raised in youth groups that were pro-conversion camps?
The singer, who recently split up with Orlando Bloom, described her younger self as ‘confused’.
After making the leap from gospel music to mainstream, Perry said she found her own ‘tribe’ of people when she was welcomed into the LGBTQ community.
She said: “These people were nothing like I’d been taught to fear. They were the most free, strong, kind and inclusive people.”
— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) March 19, 2017
Saying now is the time ‘to lead with empathy and grace and compassion’ more than ever, Perry promised that she’ll be bringing even more purposeful and politically-infused pop music in the near future.
The Human Rights Campaign also featured actress American Ferrera accepting the Ally for Equality Award, which was presented to her by Girls creator Lena Dunham.
Human Rights Campaign