Elton John and his mom had a tense relationship that culminated in a years-long estrangement. Though they reconciled near the end of her life, the road to forgiveness was rocky. John shared that before his civil partnership with his future husband, his mother’s reaction put a damper on the event. He explained why he thinks she reacted in the way she did.
Elton John and his mom had a fraught relationship
John said that during childhood, his family dynamic was “miserable.” His parents constantly fought, usually about him.
“They gave every impression of hating each other,” he wrote for The Guardian. “My dad was strict and remote and had a terrible temper; my mum was argumentative and prone to dark moods. When they were together, all I can remember are icy silences or screaming rows. The rows were usually about me, how I was being brought up.”
After years of tension, in which John says his mother criticized everything he did, the two became estranged. Eight years later, they reconciled following her 90th birthday.
He shared that she did not react well to his wedding
John shared that his civil partnership became a major point of contention in his relationship with his mother. This was surprising to him because she did not react poorly when he came out.
“Families can be very pro or very anti,” he said, per the Daily Mail. “My family, my mother and my stepfather, were very, very easy with me coming out.”
Years later, though, he said that her reaction to his civil partnership with David Furnish upset him.
“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,” he explained.
He shared that he was surprised by this showing of homophobia.
“It was so upsetting, she kind of ruined my day,” he said. “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.”
In 2014, John married Furnish and though they’d been together for years, his mother disapproved.
“I was actually tying the knot with David and then getting married a few years later, she didn’t approve of it at all,” he explained. “And that came as a big shock to me.”
Despite this, John and Furnish said that their friends provided more than enough support at their wedding.
Elton John’s mom did not like his husband
John’s eventual estrangement from his mother occurred after years of fighting about Furnish. His mother claimed that Furnish was the reason for any problems she had with her son.
“He had always been very kind to me until he got with David Furnish,” she said, per Vanity Fair.
John recognized that she didn’t like his husband, but he believed that she never liked anyone.
“She never liked David. She never liked anybody,” he told People, adding, “she never asked to see the children. But I’m glad they didn’t meet her, because she would have criticized them, like she criticized me.”