Thursday, May 14, 2015

Homophobia could have Stopped Elton's Dad Seeing him Perform

Sir Elton John has suggested that his father's homophobia stopped him from coming to see any of his shows.

Sir Elton told how, unlike the father in his hit musical Billy Elliot, his father, Stanley Dwight, never came to terms with his choice of career and didn't see a single one of his son's performances before he died.

Writing in The Times on the 10th anniversary of the musical adaptation, Sir Elton said the relationship between Billy and his father in the original film spurred him on to write a musical version because, he said, Billy Elliot "gets what I never got - and so many gay men of my generation were denied."

He said: "The moment when Billy's dad sees him perform, and sees the beating heart of his son for the first time, and understands what his son will achieve, never came for me.

"My father was sealed off from my talent and I never knew why. Was it homophobia? Was it fear? That was a painful loss for me. But it was also a painful loss, I think, for my dad. That's what prejudice does to people.

"It cuts them off from sources of joy — from friendship and kindness and love. It even cuts off fathers from their sons. It makes the whole world a little colder."

Sir Elton, who wrote the music for the stage adaptation in 2005, spoke of his joy at being able to marry his husband David Furnish and raise a family with him, saying the days of homophobia in Britain were ending.

He said: "I never thought I'd be married to a man — I never imagined such a thing was possible. I never imagined I'd be raising kids with my husband.

"I never imagined the people of Britain would accept us. All these things came to pass, and I am so grateful, and so proud of my country.

"The days of homophobia in Britain are ending, because so many people fought against it and so many decent people opened their hearts for us."

Sir Elton, who has sons Zachary, four, and Elijah, two, with husband David, said he was grateful that his children were growing up in a very different world to the one he grew up in.

He said: "When my boys grow up, among their friends, the idea you shouldn't dance, or cry, or hug, because it's "poofy", will seem like something from the distant past — because what's wrong with being gay?

"All over Britain and all over the world, dads learnt their sons were gay and they chose not to hate them, but to love them, and the world got better. They should be proud of themselves."

- The Telegraph

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