Katy Perry Accepts National Equality Award


Getty Images for Human Rights Campaign

March 18: Honoree Katy Perry accepts the HRC National Equality Award onstage at The Human Rights Campaign 2017 Los Angeles Gala Dinner.

At the 2017 Human Rights Campaign Gala on March 18th, Katy Perry accepted the award for National Equality. According to Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) website, “The HRC Ally for Equality Award and National Equality Award recognizes the outstanding efforts of those who use their voice and publicly stand up for the LGBTQ community. These allies commit time, energy and spirit to improve the lives of LGBTQ people and advance equality for all Americans.” Perry accepted the award for National Equality and America Ferrera accepted the award for HRC Ally for Equality.

“We are thrilled to honor Katy Perry for using her powerful voice and international platform to speak out for LGBTQ equality,” said President Chad Griffin of the HRC, “Her compelling advocacy, from the stage to the campaign trail, has had a profound effect on the lives of LGBTQ people — and, in particular, young people. Katy’s message of inclusion and equality continues to inspire us and the world.

Perry has inspired millions worldwide, especially those in the LGBTQ community, with her music. In her speech, Perry acknowledged her fans saying, “I got to say there is no other community that has done more to shape who I am today, and there is no other community that I believe in more than you.”

Coming from a religious background and initially pursuing a career in gospel music, Perry defied everything she knew growing up to become the pop sensation that she is today. Everyone is familiar with one of Perry’s first hits, “I Kissed A Girl” which stirred up controversy and ultimately launched her career. This single helped to encourage conversation about sexuality.

“I’m just a singer-songwriter, honestly,” Perry said, “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.”

In Perry’s speech, she mentioned how she “prayed the gay away,” and how she grew up in a very religious home. She later added how she couldn’t reconcile that as a gospel singing girl who grew up in youth groups which were pro conversion camps. She knew she was curious, and knew sexuality wasn’t as black and white as her dress (she was wearing as she accepted the award). “I haven’t always gotten it right, but in 2008 when that song came out, I knew that I started a conversation that a lot of the world seemed curious enough to sing along to”, Perry stated.

Days after Perry received the award and gave her speech, fans and members of the LGBTQ community thanked her for supporting them. Tweets included thanking her for using her platform for good and everything she has done for the community. Perry promised to continue advocating for fans and equality for all.