Katy Perry kissed a girl and liked it so much that she "did more than that."
At the Human Rights Campaign Gala Dinner in Los Angeles on Saturday night, the 32-year-old pop singer talked about starting a conversation about sexuality with the entire world back in 2008 when she released her hit song, "I Kissed a Girl."
"Truth be told, I did more than that," Perry admitted to the audience while accepting the National Equality Award for her LGBTQ advocacy work. “But how was I going to reconcile that with the 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 was not as black and white as this dress. 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."
The "Chained To The Rhythm" singer was referencing her black-and-white statement gown by designer Rasario. Perry paired the bold ruffled neckline with black heels and a modern, punk-inspired hairstyle.
Perry then stressed her religious upbringing and how she spent much of her adolescence trying to "pray the gay away at Jesus camps." Her outlook on sexuality drastically changed when she entered the music industry.
"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. They stimulated my mind, and they filled my heart with joy, and they danced with joy while doing it. These people are actually, magic, and they are magic because they are living their truth."
The pop star teared up when dedicating her award to her longtime manager Bradford Cobb, continuing, "The path of discovery has made me, has tested me and forever changed me. You don’t get to choose your family, but you can choose your tribe. 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."
"No longer can I sit in silence," Perry concluded. "I have to stand up for what I feel is true and that is equality and justice for all, period."
For more on the singer's advocacy work for both women and the LGBTQ community, watch the video below.