You’ve been seeing them all month long. You know the drill. It’s another edition of our interviews from celebrities and artists on Tumblr, getting their thoughts on identity, politics, and any advice they might have for all of you. Today’s interview is pretty special. It comes from none other than the most successful artists of all time…
Sir Elton John (@eltonjohn)
What advice would you give your younger self about exploring your identity?
My advice would be not to try to be someone or something I wasn’t, but to really understand and accept myself for who I am and to love myself. Then to find people who would genuinely love me for who I am.
How do you express your gender identity on a day-to-day basis?
My gender identity is as much about being a loving husband, a good parent, and a loyal friend as it is about being gay. I want people to realize that first and foremost we are all people.
What’s the most challenging part of exploring and expressing gender and orientation in today’s society? What gives you hope?
The most challenging part is still superficial judgements about what gender identity means. These are spread through the media, and sadly sometimes by religion or politics. People want to control or punish what is different. But I’m hopeful because all over the world, more people are feeling the courage to express who they are and more are being accepted. Young people care much less about sexuality than their parents.
What’s an important moment in LGBTQ history that’s important for LGBTQ youth to understand?
I think the Stonewall riots. They were the first demonstrations by the LGBTQ community against a police raid that took place in Greenwich Village in the U.S. in the early hours of June 28th 1969. They really catalyzed the liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBTQ rights in the whole world.
What is the biggest change in the LGBTQ experience that you’ve noticed over the past 10 years? What work needs to be done to continue progress in the right direction?
Gay marriage…respecting love between two people as love, in countries as previously resistant as the UK, Ireland, Australia, is a huge change. We need laws and policies that first and foremost treat LGBTQ people as citizens like everyone else so that their human rights are protected—in the family, at work, in society.
What advice would you give to LGBTQ youth trying to find their way in the world?
Remember that change can and does happen. Not overnight, but it does happen. Don’t ever give up on yourself. Take care of yourself and don’t ever doubt that change is possible.
What about you? What’s the most challenging part of expressing your identity? What gives you hope? If you feel up to it, share your story with your followers, just like Elton. Tag it #TumblrPride so it’s easily discoverable by the community. And then follow the Rocket Man himself on Tumblr: @eltonjohn.