The singer Katy Perry has received a ‘Hero’ award from the Trevor Project, a charity that seeks to prevent suicide among the young LGBT community.

In her acceptance speech at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Palladium, Perry saod “The real heroes are the folks… at the call centres. (They’re) incredibly inspiring.”

During her speech, the star explained how her religious up-brining warped her early views on homosexuality. “I grew up in a very intolerant environment,” she said. “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 charity, which works with LGBT youth to prevent suicide by offering support over the telephone and online said that Perry received the award “for empowering youth and increasing visibility and understanding of the LGBTQ community.

“As an ally for the LGBTQ community, Perry has supported equality and the freedom to marry. She inspires LGBTQ youth to find their spark through her video “Firework.” Perry strives to let youth know they have value, and by being themselves, they can be anything.”