Elton John has spoken of the “happiest months” of his life being a parent, but warned of the dangers facing gay youth.
Writing in the Guardian, the musician said parenthood was a “blessing” and “an awe-inspiring responsibility”.
He continued on to discuss his concerns surrounding homophobic bullying in schools: “Nine in ten secondary school teachers regularly witness homophobic bullying, according to YouGov research commissioned recently by Stonewall.
“What shocked me even more about the polling was that it also found that two in five primary school teachers regularly witness homophobic bullying too.”
He added that: “failing to address the still everyday use of the word ‘gay’ as a playground insult is also inexcusable”.
“This sort of bullying doesn’t just impact on those who might one day be gay, or who have gay parents. It affects all sorts of children simply because they’re different.”
Citing figures that 600 young people in the UK were diagnosed with HIV last year, he called for a “frank, open and realistic discussion” to “prepare and protect” all young people.
Failing to act, he said, would result in “tens of thousands of individual tragedies for young Britons to whom we owe a duty of care.”
He concluded that above all, he wanted his son “to be safe”.
“And we’re determined that he’ll grow up in a world different from the world that we grew up in ourselves.”