Katy Perry has opened up about coming to terms with her sexuality during her ultra-religious childhood in a powerful and emotional speech.
The singer was honoured with the National Equality Award at the Human Rights Campaign Gala in Los Angeles last night, where she took to the stage to speak to the crowd about her own struggles.
"I'm just a singer and songwriter, honestly," she 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 how was I going to reconcile that with a gospel singing girl raised in youth groups that were pro-conversion camps?" she continued. "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."
She went on to explain that she tried to "pray the gay away in my Jesus camps," and that things really began to change for her when she entered the music industry.
"I found my gift and my gift introduced me to people outside my bubble and my bubble started to burst," she said. "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."
This article previously appeared on InStyle Australia.
If this story has brought up any issues for you, there is help at hand. You can speak confidentially to a trained counsellor 24 hours a day at headspace.org.au or Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800.