Elton John has revealed that his mother Sheila Farebrother, who died in 2017, ‘was so against’ his and his husband David Furnish’s 2005 civil partnership, adding it was ‘so upsetting’.
Speaking on Friday during YouTube Pride 2021, Elton, 74, hosted an hour long special alongside his husband David, 58, and shared details about his mother’s ‘mild homophobia’ when speaking to singer Rina Sawayama, saying that her behaviour ‘came as a shock’.
Rina, 30, appeared via videolink from Berlin – where she is filming John Wick 4 – to discuss her and Elton’s recent musical collaboration, a song titled Chosen Family.
Sad: Elton John, 74, has revealed that his mother Sheila Farebrother, who died in 2017, ‘was so against’ his and his husband David Furnish’s 2005 civil partnership
Introducing the raven-haired beauty, Elton said: ‘I had the great pleasure of working with the amazing singer songwriter from the LGBTQIA+ community. Joining us now from her hotel in Berlin is the fabulous Rina Sawayama.’
Rina gushed: ‘Hi, so nice to speak with you. I miss you both so much.’
David then asked the star about her and Elton’s collaboration, saying: ‘Tell me a little bit about that song, what it means to you.’
Opening up about the difficulties she has faced in the past with her biological family, Rina explained: ‘The whole thing is about me not really connecting to my family, me feeling lost, and then finding my chosen family.
Upsetting: Speaking during YouTube Pride 2021, Elton said: ‘It was so upsetting’ (pictured with his mother decades ago)
Unhappy memories: Elton hosted an hour long special alongside his husband David, 58, and shared details about his mother’s ‘mild homophobia’
Videolink: Rina Sawayama, 30, appeared via videolink from Berlin – where she is filming John Wick 4 – to discuss her and Elton’s recent musical collaboration, a song titled Chosen Family
‘The reason I wrote that was because I love my friends, but they’re more than just friends, they are family.’
She added: ‘But more importantly they’re my queer family, and I met them when I was at university, when I was very depressed.
‘It is so important to have that idea of family in your mind when things aren’t going quite right with the family that you’re born with.’
Elton revealed: ‘When I wanted to have my civil partnership – when I was about to have my civil partnership – my mother was so against it’
David added: ‘We surround ourselves with the people in life that give us the skills to cope, the support that we need.
‘So many people are rejected by their biological families. Particularly within queer communities. Coming out can be a very difficult thing.’
It was then that Elton touched upon his strained relationship with his mother, saying: ‘Families can be very pro or very anti. My family, my mother and my step father, were very, very easy with me coming out.
‘When I wanted to have my civil partnership – when I was about to have my civil partnership – my mother was so against it, because it’s officially admitting that you’re gay.
Elton added: ‘It was so upsetting, she kind of ruined my day. Our day, rather, by her attitude. And for all those years I thought she was so supportive’
‘It was so upsetting, she kind of ruined my day. Our day, rather, by her attitude. And for all those years I thought she was so supportive and in the background there was a mild homophobia going on within her.’
He added: ‘Because I was actually tying the knot with David and then getting married a few years later, she didn’t approve of it at all. And that came as a big shock to me.’
Agreeing that ‘a form of rejection from your own family is a very, very hard thing to take,’ David then assured viewers: ‘But that was more than compensated for by the friends who came and supported us on the day.’
Elton and his mother famously endured an eight-year feud, but the icon reconciled with Sheila in 2016, saying on her 90th birthday: ‘We are now back in touch.’
Earlier on Friday, Olly Alexander looked typically stylish as he prepared to host YouTube’s Pride 2021 event.
Rocking bright orange hair and a patterned tracksuit at rehearsals, the It’s A Sin star, 30, beamed from ear-to-ear while posing behind an East London pub’s brightly-lit bar, where he hosted the event from.
Olly led a stellar line up for the multi-hour global live stream event alongside Mawaan Rizwan, which kicked off at 8pm on Years & Years’ YouTube channel before moving over to YouTube Originals.
Stylish: Olly Alexander, 30, looked typically stylish on Friday as he prepared to host YouTube’s Pride 2021 event from an East London pub wearing a patterned tracksuit
Olly also posed for photographs alongside 28-year-old actor, writer and comedian Mawaan, who he co-hosted with.
Mawaan – who performed his viral song Mango accompanied by the London Gay Symphony Orchestra – cut a trendy figure in a red tracksuit which he teamed with a black baseball cap.
Also seen with Olly was singer MNEK, 26, who flashed the cameras a wide smile and made a statement in a bright green graphic tee stamped with a daisy and the words ‘be happy’.
MNEK and Olly performed an exclusive duet on the night.
Model Munroe Bergdorf, 33, was also seen at rehearsals, and looked sensational in a figure-hugging bright red gown.
Co-hosts: Olly also posed for photographs alongside 28-year-old actor Mawaan Rizwan, who he co-hosted the event with
YouTube announced at the beginning of June that Demi Lovato, 28, and Olly were set to host the star-studded virtual party on 25th June, which celebrated the LGBTQ+ community.
YouTube Originals alongside JA Films put together the virtual celebration, which featured multiple hosts.
The evening’s finale was be hosted by singer Demi, who invited viewers to join them on a Pride journey of discovery from a special venue in LA.
Demi – who revealed last month that they are non-binary and prefers they/them pronouns – met with special guests and fans while speaking about topics such as queer identity, mental health, and body positivity.
Exciting: Olly led a stellar line up for the multi-hour global live stream event alongside Mawaan
As part of the UK line up, Years & Years musician Olly teamed up with actor, writer and comedian Mawaan.
The pair co-hosted from an East London local pub, celebrating the roadmapped return to freedom in England by transforming the pub into a Loud & Proud party venue.
They invited their friends from the LGBTQ+ community from the worlds of comedy, music, social media and activism to celebrate Pride with them.
It included a special guest appearance from activist Munroe, big surprise performances, celebrity guests and lots of laughter.
Star-studded: Also seen with Olly was singer MNEK, 26, who flashed the cameras a wide smile and made a statement in a bright green graphic tee stamped with a daisy
The line-up of performers included: Tyler Oakley, Trixie Mattel, Kim Chi, Monét X Change, Miss Peppermint and Denali Foxx.
Speaking about his involvement in YouTube Pride 2021, Olly said: ‘I’m very excited to be co-hosting my own variety show with some super talented LGBTQ+ cuties and I get to co-host with the cute and funny Mawaan!
‘We’ll be chatting to some gorgey people from the community, there will be live music surprises and yes I will be performing an exclusive song!’
Mawaan gushed: ‘I’m so excited to be doing the show for YouTube Originals alongside my mate Olly.
‘Pride is a great celebration of our LGBTQIA+ community and I’m really looking forward to a party this year after everything that’s happened.
‘Pride month is such an important time for so many of us in the community, and to be co-hosting this global event, and showcasing some of the most talented Queer people in the world, is SO exciting!
‘I can’t wait for you all to join us for a Pride Party like you’ve never seen before – we’re pulling out all the stops and we’ve got SO many surprises in store…’
Gorgeous: Model Munroe Bergdorf, 33, was also seen at the event, and looked sensational in a figure-hugging bright red gown