Katy Perry Opens Up About Her Sexuality & Upbringing: ‘I Used To Pray The Gay Away’

Katy Perry was given the National Equality Award at the 2017 Human Rights Campaign Gala over the weekend in Los Angeles for her dedication and advocacy towards the LGBTQ community.

The singer spoke out in her acceptance speech about her strict Christian upbringing conflicting with her sexuality while she was a teen.

The 32-year old pop star revealed,

I’ll never cease to be a champion, an ally, a spotlight, and a loving voice for all LGBTQ-identifying people.


Going on to talk about her religious childhood, Perry admitted she used to ‘pray the gay away at Jesus camps’ and spent a lot of her time growing up in ‘pro-coversion’ youth groups.

Perry’s passion for music is what introduced her to a different way of life than her Christian roots. She admitted,

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 the gospel-singing girl raised in youth groups that were pro-conversion camps? What I did know was that I was curious and even then I knew sexuality wasn’t as black and white as this dress.

Her breakthrough single ‘I Kissed A Girl’ – which topped the charts in 2008 – was Katy’s way of opening up about her own sexuality and getting people talking.

Todd Williamson/Getty Images

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… 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 to.

The ‘Chained to the Rhythm’ singer was honoured with the award for her constant efforts in fighting for equality for the LGBTQ community, including campaigning for Hillary Clinton in the U.S elections last year.

The President of the Human Rights Campaign, Chad Griffin, had this to say about the talented star,

Her compelling advocacy, from the stage to the campaign trail, has had a profound effect on the lives of LGBTQ people — and, in particular, young people. Katy’s message of inclusion and equality continues to inspire us and the world.


Perry’s gift for singing is what opened her up to a different, more liberal, way of thinking.

When I was growing up homosexuality was synonymous with the word ‘abomination’ and ‘Hell’… I prayed the gay away at my Jesus camps. But then in the middle of it all… I found my gift… and my bubble started to burst.

She continued,

These people were nothing like I’d been taught to fear. They were the most free, strong, kind and inclusive people I had ever met. You don’t get to choose your family, but you can choose your tribe.

The blonde superstar, who recently split up from her former Hollywood boyfriend Orlando Bloom, ended her emotional and motivational speech with a plea to carry on fighting for equality in today’s society.

‘We all know everything good takes work, but we can’t let our past get in the way of our brilliant future.’