Elton John Announces $10 Million Fund for African LGBT Population
Saying he understands the severe limitations he faces in terms of effecting political change, Elton John has announced a $10 million fund lending medical and legal support to the African LGBT community.
The Guardian reports that John, speaking from the International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, yesterday, told the assembled he'd earmarked funds from his AIDS Foundation to help support the cause.
"I know that certain governments in Africa will not respond to someone like me telling them 'You should do this, you should do that'," said John. "I count for nothing as far as that goes. What I can do is ensure that people who are LGBT – if their clinics are closed down because they are LGBT – we can give them medicine. If they are arrested, we will get them legal aid."
Acknowledging the frustration and fear experienced by those living under regressive regimes, John offered the perspective of someone who's fought for acceptance — and assurances that although it might not happen overnight, change will come.
"We will help them on the ground," he added. "With these countries sometimes, who knows, it might take 50 years, but I guarantee it will change. You might have to fight for your own life but it will be worth it because in the end, you will win. In the '60s in England you were prosecuted for being homosexual. Most people who could afford it went to north Africa to have sex or were arrested in public toilets. Now I can be married to my partner. Things can change."
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