Katy Perry was a ‘firework’ all on her own during the Human Rights Campaign Gala in LA last Saturday. She was presented with the National Equality Award by the hosting group, which promotes gay rights. And in receiving the award – which she dedicated to longtime manager Bradford Cobb – Perry opened up about her religious upbringing.
“I’m just a singer and songwriter, honestly,” she said, “I speak my truths and I pain 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.”
Starting A Conversation
“But how was I going to reconcile that with a gospel singing girl raised in youth groups that were pro-conversion camps?” Katy Perry continued. “What I did know was I was curious and even then I knew that sexuality wasn’t as black and white as this 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.”
So while she admits that she spent a good deal of her teenage years trying to pray “the gay away”, she says that getting into mainstream music finally “introduced her to people outside (her) bubble”.
Steadily, Katy Perry got to know people outside her usual sphere of friends and family. And the more she did her mainstream music, the more people she met that changed her perspective on things. It helped her recognize, accept, and love other people who didn’t necessarily ascribe to her family’s fundamentalist ways of thinking.
“They were the most free, strong, kind and inclusive people I have ever met.”
Growing Up Together
This isn’t the first time that Katy Perry opened up about her strict religious upbringing. Back during her initial catapult to superstardom in 2011, she revealed as much to Billboard. Perry noted how even the term ‘deviled eggs’, or ‘Dirt Devil’ (the name of a vacuum cleaner) were banned in her household.
So how did such a young woman grow up, singing songs about sexual escapades in Last Friday Night, or lovemaking experiences in Teenage Dream? Apparently, her parents managed to hit a learning curve with her:
“Sometimes when children grow up, their parents grow up,” she said, “Mine grew up with me. We coexist. I don’t try to change them anymore, and I don’t think they try to change me… They’re excited about my success.”