Katy Perry Recalls Rebellious Adolescence as She Was Taught to Hate Gay People
When Katy Perry sang "I kissed a girl and I liked it," she meant it literally. Speaking at the Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles Gala on Saturday night, March 18, the pop superstar revealed the song was based on her real-life experience, but she did more than that.
"Thank you so much for this incredible, humbling award," she said when accepting the National Equality Award. She humbly added, "I'm just a singer-songwriter, honestly. 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.' "
She continued, "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? What I did know is that I was curious, and even then I knew sexuality wasn't as black and white as this (ruffled Rasario) dress. And, honestly, I haven't always gotten it right, but in 2008, when that song came out, I knew that I started a conversation that a lot of the world seemed curious enough to sing along, too."
Katy went on recalling her religious upbringing, during which " 'homosexuality' was synonymous with the word 'abomination,' and 'hell.' " She said she "prayed the gay away at Jesus camps," but then her "bubble started to burst" and she discovered people who were different from her.
"These people were nothing like I had been taught to fear. They were the most free, strong, kind, and inclusive people that I have ever met," she said. "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."
"I stand here as real evidence for all that no matter where you came from it is about where you are going, that real change, real evolution, and that real perception shift can happen, if we open our minds and soften our hearts," she continued, noting that "you don't get to choose your family, but you can choose your tribe."
Declaring that she would continue to voice her political stance, she said, "No longer can I sit in silence. I have to stand up what I feel is true and that is equality and justice for all, period."
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