Katy Perry has revealed she was prevented from interacting with gay people when she was growing up.
The singer, who shot to fame with the 2008 anthem “I Kissed a Girl”, spoke about her sexuality in an interview with Vogue.
Perry, the daughter of evangelical Pentecostal pastors, has been candid in the past about her sheltered upbringing.
In the interview, she described her youth in “a bubble beyond the bubble”.
She explained: “The schools were really makeshift. Education was not the first priority. My education started in my 20s, and there is so much to learn still.”
Perry said that when she was young, she was “not allowed to interact with gay people”, but added: “I came out of the womb asking questions, curious from day one.
“I am really grateful for that: My curiosity has led me here. Anything I don’t understand, I will just ask questions about.”
The musician spoke about her own sexual experiences with women and the meaning behind the 2008 song.
“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,” she explained.
The star went on to say that she had struggled with her sexuality and balancing it with religion, to the extent that she tried to “pray the gay away in my Jesus camps”.
“My first words were ‘mama’ and ‘dada, ‘God’ and ‘Satan,’” she explained. “Right and wrong were taught to me on felt boards and, of course, through the glamorous Jan Crouch crying diamond teardrops every night on that Vaseline-TBN television screen.
“When I was growing up, homosexuality was synonymous with the word ‘abomination’ … and hell. A place of gnashing of teeth, continual burning of skin and probably Mike Pence’s ultimate guest list for a barbecue. No way, no way. I wanted the pearly gates and unlimited fro-yo toppings.”
The singer asked: “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 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.”
Perry, who was a leading celeb in the fight against Trump, concluded the moving speech by calling people in the LGBT community the most “free, strong, kind and inclusive people” that she’d ever come to know.
“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.”
Perry has been a vocal opponent of President Trump and was a strong ally to his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton in the Presidential race.
Since taking office less than two months ago, President Trump and his team have acted to dismantle civil rights protections for transgender kids in education that had been extended under the Obama government. Under Trump, the Department of Justice has also quietly shelved an Obama-era legal challenge against North Carolina’s state-level anti-LGBT law.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court announced that it will not go ahead with a planned hearing on transgender rights, in light of the Trump administration’s removal of key protections.