Singer and song writer Katy Perry says being raised in a strict Christian family didn’t stop her from being curious about sexuality and exploring her own.
Perry spoke about her conflicted childhood while accepting the National Equality Award at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) gala earlier this month. HRC is the largest civil rights advocacy group in the US and focuses on protecting the rights of the LGBTQI community as well as lobbying politicians for change.
She talked about writing the song I Kissed a Girl saying “truth be told, I did more than that”.
The equal rights advocate’s parents are born-again Christians and her father is a Pentecostal pastor. Perry and her siblings grew up attending church regularly and attending bible camps and moving all around the country while her parents set up new churches.
“When I was growing up homosexuality was synonymous with the word abomination and hell,” she said, E! reports.
“So most of my unconscious adolescence I prayed the gay away at my Jesus camps,” she said.
But it was in the middle of it all she said she found her “gift” which was her talent for writing and singing music.
— Katy Perry Lately! (@katyperrylately) March 19, 2017
She said it was that gift that allowed her to meet people outside of her “bubble” and it was then that her bubble started to burst.
“These people were nothing like I had been taught to fear,” she said. “They were the most free, strong, kind and inclusive people I have ever met.”
To rapturous applause, Perry talked about how meeting people from the LGBTQI community stimulated her mind and “filled her heart with joy”.
“These people are actually magic,” she said. “They are magic because they are living their truth.”
Perry says it's been a long road for her to move away from her traditional upbringing and says she feels for those still trying to move away from living within communities that don't accept them.
Still, she says she's grateful for how she was raised because it's allowed her to learn "priceless lessons".
"I know it doesn't always feel safe to live out who you are, but here's the thing though. I would not have chosen a different road. Priceless lessons have been learned. The path of discovery has made me, has tested me and has forever changed me.
"You don't get to choose your family but you can choose your tribe."
Perry says she's even come a long way since her first few albums, saying it would have been easy to stay a pop princess but now she wants to continue her advocacy work. She says she wants to stand for "equality and justice for all, period".
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