Katy Perry has opened up about her strict religious upbringing, revealing that she tried to "pray the gay away" at Jesus camps.
The 'Chained to the Rhythm' singer was receiving the National Equality Award at the 2017 Human Rights Campaign Gala in Los Angeles on Saturday night (March 18), and spoke about being introduced to the LGBTQ community.
"When I was growing up, homosexuality was synonymous with the word 'abomination' and 'hell'," Katy said.
"I speak my truths and I paint my fantasies into these little bite-sized pop songs, for instance, 'I kissed a girl and I liked it'.
"Truth be told, I did more than that. But how I 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 that I was curious and even then I knew sexuality wasn't as black and white as this dress.
"Honestly, I haven't always gotten it right, but in 2008 when ['I Kissed a Girl'] came out, I knew that I started a conversation that a lot of the world seemed curious enough to sing along to."
Katy explained that "most of [her] unconscious adolescence, [she] prayed the gay away at Jesus camps".
However, she revealed that her "bubble started to burst" when she met people outside of it, and praised the LGBTQ community for "living their truth".
"Suffice to say, it's been a long road for me, and I'm sure a long road for many of you out there," she added. "I know it doesn't always feel safe to live out who you are but, here's the thing, I would have not chosen a different road. Priceless lessons have been learnt."
She added that "you don't get to choose your family, but you can choose your tribe".
Katy concluded by talking about "retiring [her] past frame of mind", saying she would continue to fight for equality.
"We all know everything good takes work, but we can't let our past get in the way of our brilliant future."
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