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Katy Perry reveals she “prayed the gay away” at Jesus camps

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Katy Perry has revealed that she tried to “pray the gay away” at pro-conversion therapy camps.

The singer, who had a conservative upbringing and previously performed gospel music as Katy Hudson, made the revelation over the weekend when she accepted the Human Rights Campaign’s National Equality Award.

The award is given to an “ally who makes extraordinary contributions to the LGBTQ community”.

During her emotional acceptance speech, Katy touched upon her own sexuality – when talking about her debut hit single I Kissed A Girl, she revealed to the crowd that she “did more” than just kiss girls.

“But how was I going to reconcile that with the gospel-singing girl who was raised in youth groups that were pro-conversion camps?” she questioned. “What I did know is that I was curious, and even then I knew that sexuality wasn’t as black and white as this dress.”

She continued: “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 teeth, and probably Mike Pence’s ultimate guest list for a BBQ.

“So most of my unconscious adolescence, I prayed the gay away at my Jesus camps. But then, in the middle of it all, I found my gift, and my gift introduced me to people outside my bubble, and my bubble started to burst.

“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. They stimulated my mind, and they filled my heart with joy. These people are actually magic, and they are magic because they are living their truth.”

Katy was handed the HRC’s ally award by her best friend, actress Shannon Woodward, who said the singer “finds a way to act as an ally virtually every single time she performs or speaks publicly”.

Watch her acceptance speech below.

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