Elton John has written a moving letter dedicated to his two sons encouraging them to be “fully and completely you” as the music icon celebrates his 75th birthday.
Elton has two young sons, Zachary and Elijah, with husband David Furnish. He wrote the beautiful message, published by Time, sharing memories and life lessons.
He recalled the first time his two boys, now 11 and 9, saw him perform on stage after Furnish brought them to a Las Vegas concert.
“You were amazed by it all, the lights and the costumes and the crowd,” Elton said to his sons.
“Afterward, you both said, ‘I didn’t know Daddy could do that.’
“Once upon a time, I didn’t know I could do it, either.”
Elton said when he was their age, he could “never have dreamed where life would take me”.
“Looking back over the past 75 years, there is so much I am proud of, so much I have learned,” Elton wrote.
“As you are the two most precious parts of my life, I want to share some of those lessons with you.”
He shared that as a young man, he was “told to fit in” and to “do what others expected even when it didn’t feel right”.
“Now I realise I can only be me. Being true to myself is what gave me my voice, and helped me face my greatest fears,” he wrote.
“I’ve forged deep friendships, found the love of my life and became your Daddy.
“Whoever you grow up to be, just be you — fully and completely you.”
‘So much positive social change’ in Elton’s 75 years
Elton John went on to say he had seen “so much positive social change” in his “75 years as a gay man”.
But he warned there’s still a lot of work to be done before LGBTIQ people are treated equally and fully accepted by society.
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He and Furnish were “still scared” when they welcomed both boys into their family in the 2010s, Elton recalled.
The couple feared others would “tease you because you have two dads”.
But Elton said these fears were allayed when the boys started school as they “knew that we were different”.
“You knew that different was okay, and most importantly, you knew you were loved,” Elton wrote.
‘It’s on us to make the world better’
But Elton John singled out Florida’s contentious “Don’t Say Gay” bill. He said the US state’s legislation would prevent “kids struggling to understand and accept who they are” from “getting the help they need”.
Moreover, there are “at least 68 countries across the world” that still criminalise homosexuality, he said.
“Your Papa and I could be arrested, just for being ourselves,” he said.
“Most people — gay, straight, Black, white, rich or poor— all want some basic things in life, to be safe, respected, loved and free.
“But we live in a world today where too often, instead of embracing diversity, we shut it down.
“I want you to grow up in a world free from conflict, where you can fulfill your dreams, whatever they may be.”
Elton said another important lesson he wanted to give his sons is to “give back”.
“Service to something bigger than yourself is the most rewarding thing you will ever do,” he said.
“This world is unequal and unfair, and it’s on us to make it better.”
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Elton John says his sons are his ‘proudest achievements’
Elton John told sons Zachary and Elijah that they are the “greatest gifts I have ever been given”.
“You’ve filled my heart with love and my life with purpose and meaning in ways I didn’t think were possible,” Elton wrote.
“You are my proudest achievements, and I love you both so, so much.”
He also urged his sons to be themselves, and “push the envelope a bit” and “ruffle some feathers where you need to”.
“Remember that what unites us is far greater than what divides us,” he wrote.
“Take care of one another—and try to be part of something bigger than yourself.
“And never forget how much your Papa and I love you.”
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