Katy Perry knows she is an icon to the queer community. Her breakout #1 song I Kissed A Girl explored a same-sex relationship, at a time when these themes were not really explored on the mainstream pop charts. Since that massive hit broke through in 2008, the Roar singer has become a global superstar, and a massive ally to her LGBTQ fans.
That wasn’t always the case. In the Part of Me singer’s, 37, own words she grew up quite differently – in a strict Christian household. Her parents were both pastors and would routinely take her to protest at Gay Pride events. Accepting an award in 2017 she spoke about her early years,
“When I was growing up, homosexuality was synonymous with the word abomination and hell … so most of my unconscious adolescence I prayed the gay away at my Jesus camps.”
The Dark Horse singer then detailed how her mindset was changed, rather quickly, once she left the Christian community,
“These people were nothing like I’d 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. These people are actually magic and they are magic because they are living their truth.”
Perry recently sat down with Out magazine to discuss her upcoming Vegas residency. The show entitled Play begins December 29 at Resorts World. Perry described the show as,
“a feast for both the ears and the eyes and it is like the most laughter I’ve had in a rehearsal setting ever in my life. My co-creators and collaborators and the dancers and the band, everybody’s just like, ‘This is the kookiest idea.'”
Perry proudly considers herself part of the queer community,
“I came from a very sheltered upbringing where it wasn’t okay to be friends with anyone from that community. And now that is my community. That is my show. That is my people. It’s my everyday life. It’s in my house, it’s in my work. I wouldn’t have survived without the community and couldn’t, quite honestly. It’s amazing how full circle it’s come and how much growth has happened since I started.”
One song certain to make the 20-song setlist is the #1 hit Firework, her self-empowerment anthem, which has since become an anthem to the gay community. According to Billboard, “Perry dedicated the video for her self-empowerment anthem Firework to the It Gets Better Project, a worldwide movement against harassment of LGBTQ youth. Viewed more than 1 billion times on YouTube since 2010, the Dave Meyers-directed video features a storyline about a gay teen boy who embraces his sexuality.”
Perry has long championed transgender rights and awareness in addition to being a vocal supporter of marriage equality. The California Girls singer also campaigned for now President Joe Biden. Seeing her sing Firework at the Inauguration in January, dressed in white, standing in front of the Washington Monument as, yes, fireworks exploded in the air behind her was epic.