Sir Elton on Russia

elton john russia
Latest posts by Matthew Hoy (see all)

Can you feel the love tonight? I can’t. It’s Friday in Moscow, and it is not just the wind that’s cold. On the stage is a man who seems somewhat at odds to his surroundings; this man is Sir Elton John. His presence is somewhat strange – queer, you might say – as he is in Russia, a country which has recently taken steps to legislate against “homosexual propaganda“.

I will be honest, Sir Elton John isn’t my cup of tea, nor is he my ideal knight on a white steed, but last Friday he became the knight for LGBT rights in Russia. He gave a carefully worded speech, stating that he was “deeply saddened and shocked over the current legislation that is now in place against the [homosexual] community here in Russia”.

Sir Elton John said further: “In my opinion, it is inhumane and it is isolating. Harmony is what makes a happy family and a strong society.”

This is an unstereotypically neutral statement from a man not known for mincing his words, who firstly accused Madonna of lip-syncing, and then who went so far as to say that she should be shot. Why not say that about the Russians? I understand that this was all a very delicate situation, as he could possibly have been imprisoned for homosexual propaganda, and that he needs to think of his children at home … but “saddened”? Sir Elton John is a poetic genius when it comes to his lyrics, surely a stronger stance could have been taken?

As Sir Elton John once said: “Music has the healing power to take people out of themselves for a few hours.” So why not write the LGBT community a ballad? A song of hope?

I plead with you, Sir Elton, that if you are reading this, could you not write us an anthem like “Candle in the Wind” or a reinvention of Tom Robinson’s classic ‘Glad to be Gay’ for the propaganda generation? Could you not write us a song like ‘Through the Storm” and let us know that through the storm…. we can keep it alive?

Please don’t let the sun go down on me and LGBT rights …