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Elton's Partner Admits There Are Plans to Present Zach With a Sibling

Wednesday 25 April 2012 @ 17:38 - GMT


Elton and David Furnish may father a second child with a surrogate this summer as a brother or sister for their one-year-old son.

I would like Zachary to have a sibling, Furnish tells the Evening Standard. I think he would be better with a sibling than on his own. Its something we talk about all the time. But in terms of when, where and how, nothings decided yet.




I think we are going to wait till this summer. Our life is always like a treadmill with Elton constantly working and touring. But when we go away to our house in France, thats when we sit back and go [big exhalation] okay, how is this working, how are you feeling?

The logistics have clearly been discussed. We could go back to the same egg donor, so biologically there would certainly be a connection between brother and brother or brother and sister, the 49-year-old says. He adds that he and Elton would probably again both donate sperm to fertilise the egg, so we dont know which one of us is the father.

They may, however, be compelled to seek another surrogate. The unnamed woman who carried and gave birth to Zach at the couples home in Los Angeles has been a surrogate before but has a life of her own and her own family. Its a big commitment to make, nine months of their life that doesnt just affect them but their children, their husband, their partner. If we found a surrogate who is half as beautiful as our first, we would be very lucky.

The former advertising executive turned film and stage producer is willing to speak more openly than in the past about parenting, gay marriage and homophobia because there is more acceptance of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) lifestyles.

When I tried to come out to my mother when I was 23, she cried her eyes out and said, You dont have a future, he recalls. There were no role models I could point to. I couldnt say, look at [gay entertainment executive] David Geffen, look at the chairman of BP, or the new CEO of Apple.

My mother said I would never get married, and that she was sad for me because I would never have children, that it was the greatest joy of her life and she thought I would be a wonderful parent. I couldnt answer those things. When someone throws those walls up in front of you it fills you with self-loathing and disappointment. So to see each of them knocked down these have been huge milestones. To see my parents and my brothers and their wives and children at my civil partnership was a big step on the way. And now Im a father.

By his own admission, Furnish had been living a double life in Toronto. Id spent my twenties trying to be everything to everybody. I had my family, my straight friends, and I was starting to develop a gay circle of friends. I was seeing some men, seeing some women, and trying to sort it all out.

Moving to London for his ad agency enabled him to hit the reset button. His subsequent meeting and romance with Elton is well documented, and it enabled David to reconnect with his family. I always said I wasnt going to come out to my family until I was in the relationship, he says. My parents have been married for 50-plus years and I wanted to have what they had.

When civil partnership became legal in the UK, he and Elton were the first to sign up, to demonstrate their long-term commitment. I didnt know if wed be flour-bombed or picketed, he smiles, but we walked out of Windsor Guildhall into this huge throng of thousands from all walks of life: kids, grannies, businessmen, all well-wishers. And the media treated it like a royal wedding.

David feels fortunate as a gay man to be living in these times.

 Look at Cameron telling the Commonwealth summit in Melbourne that any country that criminalises homosexuality will lose their foreign aid. On a bigger scale, Hillary Clinton made that speech in Geneva for the worlds biggest superpower that reduced me to tears: she got up and said gay rights are human rights; we have to draw a line in the sand and treat people equally.

We are at a tipping point. We have really good momentum, although there are lots of frightening things going on too. Theyve just passed a law in St Petersburg making it illegal to talk about anything gay in public. And I think the president of Pakistan said on behalf of all Muslim countries that they werent going to discuss LGBT issues at the UN.

He is hopeful that Zachary, and any potential siblings, will grow up in a more tolerant world but not blindly so. The tot is already registered for school in Windsor where our main residence is because I think this country is a wonderful place to raise children. Mindful that he might be bullied for having no mum and two gay dads, Elton and David have organised play dates with other children of same sex partnerships as well as mixing him in regular, everyday-kid circles and bought in a library of storybooks exploring different kinds of relationships.

But I think he is going to have to have square shoulders, says Furnish. Kids will often see something different and feel insecure about it because they dont understand it. Fear and ignorance fuel so much homophobia. Thats just something we have to deal with as it comes along but he needs to know its fine, that he is loved and supported and there are other children in the same situation.

Children are born as these little empty shells and we fill them in, he continues. If we get them young enough, and get anti-bullying messages and tolerance messages into curriculums, we can nip all this stuff in the bud. I use my brothers children as an example they range from early twenties to seven. Ive been with Elton 18 years. It wouldnt even occur to them that it was an issue. They took a bit of ribbing at school but they stood their ground, and I am proud of them.

Furnish initially met with the Standard reporter to discuss his role as an ambassador for Pride House, a charity set up by his fellow Canadian Chad Molleken to combat bullying and homophobia in sport. Molleken planned a huge 18-day festival on Clapham Common to coincide with the 2012 Olympics to promote the cause and Elton shunning the chance to headline official Olympic events agreed that he would play the opening concert.

He and David put their copious address books at Mollekens disposal.

We are very well connected in the world, Furnish concedes. So Chad threw out some names to me. He said: Billie Jean King. I said, Well, thats a phone call, thats an easy one to do. He also introduced the charity organiser to gay sportsmen such as rugby player Gareth Thomas and cricketer Steven Davies, with whom he had become friendly. Unfortunately, following the withdrawal of some acts and financing this week the festival is on hold, and Eltons concert is cancelled.

Molleken and Furnish hope some form of Pride House celebration can take place during the Games.

As Elton says, the two great uniting forces on the planet are music and sport, David comments. To be honest, Im not the biggest sports guy. Ive mostly been aware of [the prejudice] from Eltons perspective: when he managed Watford football club in the Eighties he had a lot of homophobic abuse shouted at him in the box. Being very British, he laughed it off but those are still words, sharp words, that hurt and can scar you.

The Olympics are an amazing celebration of optimism, the future, youth. Theyre about breaking barriers, breaking records. Marrying that to a message of supporting LGBT sport, opposing bullying, and promoting diversity and inclusiveness, is a wonderful thing.