Katy Perry, an LGBT rights advocate, says she grew up being taught to "pray the gay away at Jesus camps". The 32-year-old pop star made an emotional speech while accepting the National Equality Award at the 2017 Human Rights Campaign Gala in Los Angeles on Saturday night.
Perry's religious upbringing is widely known, with her parents both Protestant pastors. She said: "My first words were 'mama' and 'dada', 'God' and 'Satan'."
"When I was growing up, homosexuality was synonymous with the word 'abomination' and 'Hell', a place of gnashing of teeth, continuous burning of skin and probably Mike Pence's ultimate guest list for a BBQ."
"But then in the middle of it all, in a twist of events, I found my gift. And it introduced me to people outside my bubble, and my bubble started to burst."
"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 said. Through her songs like "I kissed a girl", Perry says, "I speak my truths and I paint my fantasies into these little bite-sized pop songs,” Perry said.