KATY PERRY turned the spotlight on volunteers for the Trevor Project on Sunday (02Dec12) as the suicide prevention organization presented her with an award for championing gay rights.
The singer was handed the Hero trophy at a star-studded ceremony, and she used her acceptance speech to honor the dedicated team members who man telephone helplines for the crisis intervention service.
She told the crowd at Los Angeles' Hollywood Palladium, "The real heroes are the folks... at the call centers. (They're) incredibly inspiring."
Perry also explained how her strict religious upbringing informed her early views on sexuality, but admitted she now feels "intricately woven" in the gay community thanks to her close circle of friends.
She is quoted by RumorFix.com as saying, "I grew up in a very intolerant environment. For a long time, I was told that people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning were an abomination. As I've grown up, I've freed myself from the mindset.
"There was some perspective growth in my family. I believe in change... I believe that sexuality is fluid - nobody introduces me as, 'This is Katy Perry, she is straight.' I hope in the future that we will all grow beyond labels, beyond treating gays as a novelty friend group."
The evening featured performances from Glee stars including Naya Rivera, Kristin Chenoweth and Darren Criss, as well as an auction, during which Perry pulled in $15,000 by offering a trip with her to Disneyland.