Sir Elton John opens up to Sam Smith about the effect coming out as gay had on him

Sir Elton John has opened up to Sam Smith about how coming out as gay affected his career.

The Crocodile Rock singer says he struggled to accept his own sexuality at first.

He reveals the struggle meant he didn’t have sex until he was 23-year-old – when he slept with the first gay person he met.

The legendary singer admits, however, to being “like a missile” once he did become sexually active with other men.

Speaking to Attitude magazine’s September issue, Sir Elton said: “I didn’t have sex until I was 23.

“It was a different era, a horrible time, with people peeking from behind their curtains.

“I slept with the first person I knew was gay, my manager John Reid, and it was only a bit later in life that I became fully resolved to it.

“But then I was like a missile! I embraced the gay culture, loved life very much, just loved it.

“And it hasn’t harmed me whatsoever, not personally or in my career.”

Sir Elton also says he would go gay clubbing in LA after coming to terms with his identity.

“When I got older I used to go to a gay club for as long as it took to see someone I liked and then go home with them,” he told the magazine.

Sir Elton John is set to celebrate 25 years of the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) in November.

The singer, pianist and entertainer has dedicated a huge amount of time to tackling the stigma against HIV AIDS.

The US not-for-profit was created in 1992, and established a year later in the UK.

It has been recognised as the “largest HIV funder of programmes for transgender people.”

The organisation is now set to mark its 25 year anniversary in a huge New York show.

Neil Patrick Harris is set to host, along with special guest Aretha Franklin.

Celeb guests and speakers include President Bill Clinton, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Sharon Stone, among a long list of other high-profile stars.