Katy Perry reflects on the impact her debut single, “I Kissed a Girl,” had on the LGBTQ community

ABC/Brian Bowen Smith

It’s been over a decade since Katy Perry released “I Kissed a Girl,” and the singer says she’s still amazed by the impact her debut single has had on pop culture, and on the LGBTQ community.

Speaking to Out magazine, the Grammy nominee reflected on the controversy the 2008 hit sparked.  The bi-curious anthem not only upset conservative parents, the LGBTQ community said the song was problematic because its lyrics seemingly wrote off a same-sex kiss as “not what good girls do.” 

“For me in that time, bisexuality kind of got its label of sorts,” Katy recalled. “It was like, ‘Oh, so that is what this is,’ you know? This feeling or this experience or what have you. I was just writing about my own experience.”

The singer continued, “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.”

The LGBTQ community has since embraced the song, and Katy said she’s heard countless stories about how the track has helped people come to terms with their sexuality. She said of the single’s evolution, “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.”

Katy’s also proud of her music’s lasting legacy, even though it makes her feel “old” that younger artists are now sampling her work and call it “nostalgic.”  Most recently, Olivia Rodrigo shouted out the 2010 single “Teenage Dream” in her song “brutal.”

Even so, Katy said she’s proud that her songs are “coming back around,” because “it means that the music is still resonating. It means that the message still rings true for people.”

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