“I kissed a girl and I liked it” were more than just song lyrics for Katy Perry.
Perry, 32, reflected on her ultra-religious upbringing during the Human Rights Campaign Gala in downtown Los Angeles. The gay rights lobbying group honoured the singer with its National Equality Award.
“I’m just a singer and songwriter, honestly,” the “Chained to the Rhythm” songstress said. “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, I did more than that.”
But Perry wasn’t always so outwardly expressive of her sexuality. “…How was I going to reconcile that with a gospel singing girl raised in youth groups that were pro-conversion camps?” she explained. “What I did know was I was curious and even then I knew sexuality wasn’t as black and white as this [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 and a lot of the world seemed curious enough to sing along, too.”
The music industry was the answer Perry had been looking for. While she spent her adolescents trying to pray “the gay away in my Jesus camps,” mainstream music was her saviour. “I found my gift and my gift introduced me to people outside my bubble and my bubble started to burst,” she said.
Adding how she had people pegged all wrong, “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.”
Other guests at the star-studded gala include American Ferrera, who recalled her challenging teen years while being presented with the Ally For Equality Award by Lena Dunham.