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Katy Perry has paid tribute to the LGBT+ community and the support it has shown her.
The singer discussed the success of her early song, “I Kissed a Girl”, in an interview with Out.
The song was Perry’s mainstream pop breakthrough, coming after her short-lived career in Christian rock (under the name Katy Hudson).
While it was a hit, the song was criticised for trivialising queer female sexuality and Perry was accused of queerbaiting – though the singer has been frank about her own same-sex experiences.
“For me in that time, bisexuality kind of got its label of sorts,” Perry told Out. “It was like, ‘Oh, so that is what this is,’ you know? This feeling or this experience or what have you. I was just writing about my own experience.”
Perry explained that in the context of her conservative Christian upbringing, this was a significant shift.
“I came from a very sheltered upbringing where it wasn’t OK to be friends with anyone from that community. And now that is my community,” she said. “That is my show. That is my people. It’s my everyday life. It’s in my house, it’s in my work.”
She continued, “I wouldn’t have survived without the community and couldn’t, quite honestly. It’s amazing how full circle it’s come and how much growth has happened since I started.”
Katy Perry has previously admitted that she would tackle the song differently were she to write it today.
She told Glamour that she’d “probably make an edit” of the song’s lyrics to remove “a couple of stereotypes”, adding: “We’ve really changed, conversationally, in the past 10 years… we’ve come a long way. Bisexuality wasn’t as talked about back then, or any type of fluidity.”
Though Perry has veered away from problematic lyrics, she’s found herself in hot water in recent years.
In 2020, after the US election, she was told to check her privilege after urging fans to build bridges with Trump supporters.
Perry was also forced to defend herself last year after she leapt to the defence of her friend Ellen DeGeneres, and was once again reminded that her experience as a wealthy white woman is not universal.