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Katy Perry says she used to 'pray the gay away' at 'Jesus camps'

Katy Perry shared the journey from her evangelical Christian upbringing to her LGBTQ-activist present, explaining Saturday night that she used to "pray the gay away" at Christian camps when she was a child. 

"My first words were mama and dada, God and Satan ...," the "Roar" singer said while accepting the Human Rights Campaign's 2017 National Equality Award at its gala dinner in Los Angeles over the weekend.

"When I was growing up, homosexuality was synonymous with the word abomination, and Hell," she said. Right and wrong were taught to her courtesy of felt boards and the Trinity Broadcast Network. She wanted to wind up at the pearly gates, she said, so she did as she was taught. 

"Most of my unconscious adolescence, I prayed the gay away at my Jesus camps," Perry explained. Then, she said, she found her calling: singing.

"My gift introduced me to people outside my bubble. And my bubble started to burst," she added. "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 freaking danced all the while doing it." 

Perry, who said it would have been easier for her to stay that girl who just thought more hugs would save the world, hoped her stance on equality was proof that people can change.

"Thank you for roaring on behalf of the LGBTQ community," George Takei tweeted at the "Chained to the Rhythm" singer on Monday. 

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