Katy Perry opened up last night about her religious childhood at the Human Right Campaign Gala in downtown Los Angeles.
The gay rights lobbying group honored the pop singer with its National Equality Award.
"I'm just a singer and songwriter, honestly," Perry 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."
"However," she continued, "But how was I going to reconcile that with a gospel singing girl raised in youth groups that were pro-conversion camps? 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."
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While Perry said she spent her adolescence trying to pray "the gay away in my Jesus camps," things began to change when she made her foray into the mainstream music world. "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."
Perry teared up when she dedicated her award to her longtime manager Bradford Cobb.
America Ferrera also recalled her teen years when she was presented with the Ally For Equality Award by Lena Dunham.
One of Ferrera's guests for the night was her high school drama teacher.
"In my senior year in high school when I struggled with feelings of depression and isolation she created a safe space for me," the Superstore star said. "I will never forget the first time she invited me to eat my cold pad thai with her in the drama theater room. It was the first time that entire year I felt like I was going to make it through high school."
The evening was politically charged at times with condemnations of Pres. Donald Trump and his administration's efforts to rollback many of Pres. Barack Obama's pro-equality initiatives and legislation.
Trump was blasted in remarks made by Sen. Tim Kaine, L.A.'s mayor Eric Garcetti and his predecessor and current California gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa and HRC's president Chad Griffin.