David Furnish addresses cruel anti-trans and anti-drag laws at Elton John’s Oscar party

Elton John (L) with husband David Furnish (R).

Elton John’s husband David Furnish has condemned anti-trans and anti-drag legislation sweeping the US as “point scoring”.

The “Rocket Man” singer, Elton, and his Canadian filmmaker husband, David, hosted their annual Academy Award viewing party which raised over $9 million for Elton John AIDS foundation on Sunday (12 March).

In light of the ban on public drag and gender-affirming healthcare for trans youth in Tennessee in March this year, several well-known figures have shared their outrage.

“We have to give people the freedom to be who they are … regardless of their gender or their sexuality,” David told Variety. “It’s just disappointing, after all the progress that’s been made, we still have these dissenting voices in parts of our country, but I focus on the good stuff.

“I don’t think they really reflect the groundswell of support and progress that we’ve seen over the past few years. It’s just politicians trying to score points.”

Rina Sawayma and Elton John sing queer anthem "Chosen family" at party.
Rina Sawayma and Elton John sing queer anthem “Chosen Family” at party. (Getty)

While Abbott Elementary star Lisa Ann Walter, who was also in attendance, added: “Hollywood, of any industry, is on the forefront of being very vocal about LGBTQ+ needs about what they are facing.

You may like to watch

“Now it seems to be rolling back in another direction in this country, which is thoroughly frightening and incredibly unacceptable – and verging on fascism.

“People may not be as political as I am, but what Hollywood can do is put their money behind people who will not legislatively take away the constitutional rights of a huge portion of our population.”

Elton also spoke about AIDS awareness at the party, saying: “We cannot take our foot off the accelerator. We’ve come so far and AIDS has been sidelined by COVID and things like that … We want to end this pandemic by [2030] so that people can get back to happy healthy lives.”

Other key figures in the industry have been vocal about the increasing anti-LGBTQ+ legislation across the US. Melissa McCarthy, who will play Ursula in Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid later this year, posted on Instagram sharing the long history of drag in popular media.

Late night host Stephen Colbert called out hypocrisy in a scathing segment against the right-wing Tennessee governor, Bill Lee, who signed the legislation into existence.

Meanwhile, one of the most well-known faces of drag worldwide due to his global Drag Race franchise, RuPaul also made a video encouraging people to register to vote and labelling the politicians pushing anti-drag legislation as “stunt queens”.

Drag queens in and outside of Tennessee are speaking up about their fears and anger at the hostility against their community.

Please login or register to comment on this story.