While accepting the National Equality Award at the Human Rights Campaign gala last night, Katy Perry opened up about her sexuality.

“I speak my truths and I paint my fantasies into these bite-sized pop songs. For instance, ‘I kissed a girl and I liked it,'” she said, referring to her 2008 hit single. “Truth be told … I did more than that!”

Unlike so many, she says she has ‘given up’ on the opinion of others, social media comments and critics’ remarks don’t phase her.

“I knew that sexuality was not as black and white as this dress,” she said. “In 2008 when that song cameĀ out, I knew that it started a conversation.”

Being born the daughter of two pastors, Keith and Mary Hudson, Perry switched the topic to religion and how she transitioned from a christian music artist to being one of the biggest pop icons in history.

“When I was growing up, homosexuality was synonymous with the word ‘abomination’ and ‘hell,'” she said. She even stated she tried to “pray the gay away.”

Ultimately, it was the diversity of people she met over the years who challenged what she had been taught.

“These people were nothing like I had been taught to fear,” Perry said. “They were the most free, strong, kind, and inclusive people that I have ever met.”

Concluding her speech, Perry said, “I stand here as real evidence for all, that no matter where you came from, it is about where you are going — that real change, real evolution, and that real perception shift can happen, if we open our minds and soften our hearts.”

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