There seem to be more and more celebrities and entertainers “coming out” than ever before and part of that is the public’s acceptance that’s built up over the years. But for Elton John, the singer says he never considered it that big of a thing when he made his announcement in 1988.
Speaking on NBC’s Today Show, John recalled his public acknowledgement of homosexuality, adding that he was surprised it never came up earlier. The vocalist explained, “Nobody asked me. When Cliff Jahr asked me in Rolling Stone, ‘I’m gonna ask you a question, but if you don’t want to answer it, I’m gonna turn the tape recorder off.’ And I said, ‘You’re gonna ask me if I’m gay or not.’ And he said, ‘How did you know that?’ I said, ‘I’ve been waiting for people to ask me this. It’s not exactly a secret. I live with my manager. I’m openly gay outside. I don’t have a girlfriend … I just thought it was common knowledge.”
The singer says that though it took him until his 40s to admit his sexuality publicly, it was not a calculated move. He adds, “I honestly didn’t [think it would hurt my career]. And, to be honest with you, it did a little bit. In America, people burned my records for a second and radio stations didn’t play me.”
John took part in a two-part interview with the Today Show. Earlier this week, he spoke about the effects that his drug and alcohol abuse had on his life. The singer is promoting a new book, ‘Love is the Cure: On Life, Loss and the End of AIDS.’ The book recounts his emergence from addiction amidst a world in which many friends were dying.