As a millennial, I know my generation gets a bad rap for focusing so much on ourselves and forgetting about those who came before us. This is an especially big deal in the LGBTQ+ community. For generations there were men and women who fought so that we could live equally in this world. We still have a long way to go, but we can't forget about those who have worked their entire lives to get us this far. This includes the very famous - for many reasons - Sir Elton John.
After spending decades raising money - around $385 million - for HIV/AIDS research, the legendary singer received the 2017 Humanitarian of the Year from Harvard University. During his speech at the school in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Elton got a little emotional when talking about not just the journey we have been on, but also the long fight we still have ahead of us.
He was sure to give due credit to others who have fought alongside him through the past few decades. "[These are] the bravest and most compassionate people I have ever met," he said, honoring those who work on the frontlines with HIV/AIDS.
He also shed some light on some past decisions he's made in life that could've had some very disastrous consequences, but instead led to his need to help others.
"I’m really a kind person, but the drugs made me a monster. Do not waste your life. I wasted my life, but I’m making up for lost time now." He adds that it was "through humanitarian pursuits that my life took on vastly new meaning."
"I came very close to dying. I’d have an epileptic seizure and turn blue and people would find me on the floor and put me to bed, and then 40 minutes later I’d be snorting another line."
He went on to say how lucky he feels to still be alive today. "When you take a drug and you take a drink and you mix those two together, you think you’re invincible," he said. "I came out of this HIV-negative. I was the luckiest man in the world."
The icon was accompanied by his husband David Furnish and the couple's two sons at the event.