Elton John on inequality, LGBT discrimination, and HIV/AIDS

Elton John says stigma about and discrimination against LGBT people are a form of inequality that helped create the IV/AIDS crisis.


ELTON JOHN: I’m very adamant that everybody should be treated on an equal basis. Inequality drives me crazy.

[Inequality is logo. A graphic black equal sign with an orange slash through it. #InequalityIs. Elton John, founder, Elton John Aids Foundation. A white man wearing a blue suit and blue glasses.]

I was born 69 years ago into a relatively conservative society, in the 50s. And we’ve come a long way since then, but we have an awful long way to go.

[Archival footage of a rally during the Reagan Administration. Activists march, chant, and hold signs that read “silence equals death”, “dead from drug profiteers”, and “AZT is not a cure”.]

The AIDS epidemic originally started from stigma. If you prevent people from getting the medicine they need, the disease is going to explode, as it did. It’s the stigma we need to get rid of—stigma if you’re gay, stigma if you’re Black, stigma if you’re of a different religion. Inclusiveness is what we have to try and aim for. Inequality in any shape or form is our biggest problem that we face on the Earth today. But I have great faith in the new generation of young people. Be who you are, and be proud of who you are. And in generations to come, people can live with the joyous feeling of knowing that whoever they are, whatever they are, they can be loved for who they are.

[Inequality Is Logo. Join the conversation. #InequalityIs.]

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