Elton John: I shouldn't be here today

2012-07-24 17:25
Washington - Elton John says he should be dead because of his self-destructive lifestyle decades ago.

"By all rights, I shouldn't be here today," he told the International Aids conference on Monday.

But, he said, people including strangers showed him compassion as he battled drug addiction and came to terms with his sexuality. He said he's been sober for 22 years and has a loving partner and son.

John said he believes people with Aids deserve the same love, compassion, respect and understanding he received when he "hit rock bottom".

"We have to replace the shame with love," he told the audience. "We have to replace the stigma with compassion. No one should be left behind."

'I can sing, but I can't tweet'

He also urged the crowd to end hate, indifference, homophobia and the stigma against people with Aids and HIV.

John, who set up a foundation to fight the disease, said prevention, treatment, clinical research and a vaccine also are needed to end the epidemic.

"All it takes is a bit more funding and a bit more understanding," he said. "All it takes is dialogue and the power of words to change actions."

John said the way to move forward is by combining talents, knowledge and technical abilities to get the message out about Aids, such as communicating through social media, though he acknowledged not knowing how to use Twitter.

"I have no idea how to tweet," he said, as the crowd laughed. "I can sing, but I can't tweet."

Notable role model

John also noted what he said was an incredible change in attitudes toward gay marriage in the last few months.

He saluted several public figures for standing up in support of same-sex marriage including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

He also said viewpoints on same-sex relationships have especially changed in the African-American community thanks to comments by rapper Jay-Z, singer-songwriter Frank Ocean and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

John said there hasn't been a notable role model for the Aids and HIV community since Magic Johnson.

"We need people to say it's OK to be HIV positive," he said. "We need to move forward in that respect. We need to embrace each other."

Comments

  • tandi.freeman - 2012-07-24 17:52

    You're a great man!!I salute you and all your ideas!

  • nketso.kgwadi - 2012-07-24 18:06

    Personally I'm homophibic its against the bible

      JohncarlosBiza - 2012-07-24 18:25

      Judgement is also against your Bible

      nketso.kgwadi - 2012-07-24 18:32

      @johncarlos people like u always promote gays and says the society must accept them but you can't accept people in polygamy and prostitutes then I think you are the one judging

      Irene - 2012-07-24 19:51

      You're not just homophobic but extremely primitive and backward as well.

      lizelle.grobbelaarvanzyl - 2012-07-24 21:15

      Everybody has a right to voice their opinion. If you don't like it or agree with it, ignore it! Just like you felt the urge to place a comment, so did Nketso.

      JohncarlosBiza - 2012-07-25 00:08

      @Nketso you are grouping together choices with nature. I do advise against such choices, but do respect their right to exist.\r\n\r\n@Lizelle a right to deny others equal rights is not a valid right

  • leon.vanderlinde.14 - 2012-07-24 20:26

    It is gainst God's creation to have same sex relationships and marriage. Whether we like it or not. Yes, it is not our's to judge. That is God's prevaledge. Personaly, I don't like it. I will not go out and start killing and raping. Some nice people, just not my scene.

  • boer.afrikaner - 2012-07-25 02:25

    Ag what people must maar do whatever they want to do. If they literally want to f#ck themselves to death do your thing no sweat from me man.

  • mlondozi - 2012-07-25 05:22

    It saddens me to look at some of the comments and realise how religion traps the mind, confines it within a box and succeeds at dominating, controlling and manipulating society into a bunch of judgemental and intolerant fools. We need to break free from our chains and embrace all of humanity on this planet... drop the judgement and practice acceptance. In the absence of judgement forgiveness truly does not exist.

      julian.booyens - 2012-07-25 13:58

      So should not your judgmenting comment apply to you as well?

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