Dear Reg…


In 2009, a gaggle of notable personalities were asked to contribute to a book entitled Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self in order to raise money for the Elton John AIDS Foundation; the idea being for each celebrity to write a letter to themselves, aged sixteen. Below is a charming example of such a missive, written by Elton John in March 2009, to himself in 1963.

I think we’d all love to be able to send 16 year-old selves a letter, and once you read Elton John’s letter to the 16 year-old Reginald Kenneth Dwight he was in 1963, I think you will feel a certain warmth in your heart. There is so much I’d say to my 16 year-old self, but as the saying goes, “Hindsight is 20/20.” What’s the most important thing you’d tell youself of at age 16?



March 8th 2009.


Dear Reg,

You are a very young 16. you know nothing about sex — you don’t even know what a “queer” is. Trust me when I tell you — you are “queer”; you are a gay boy. I made the mistake of not having sex until I was 23! I loved being with another man and felt relieved that I finally knew who I was. I made the mistake of falling in love too soon because I was naive and romantic. My advice to you is never to chase love — it will find you when you least expect it. Have FUN, have lots of safe sex and enjoy your sexuality. Be proud of who you are and, as you get older and wiser fight for gay rights — I’m 46 years older than you are, and we have a long way to go. In certain countries we are still not treated as equals, especially by the so-called “Christian” Church. I made a lot of mistakes. Stay away from drugs — they’re a waste of time. Stand up for every human being’s rights. Be loving, kind and strong. Set an example. You’re going to have a hell of a life!!

Love you

Elton x


From: Letters of Note (

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

2 responses to “Dear Reg…

  • Vraiment génial

    Very interesting, Prof … thought-provoking. At sixteen I was out to all of my friends and family, although I didn’t have a boyfriend and was too shy to have sex with anyone. Still. I was quite happy and liked it when a certain football player kept giving riding home with me on the subway … and taking me to films and dinners … and he once put his hand on mine in the subway and once, the night before he left for college, we kissed … fully clothed, standing up, in front of my building and its assorted doormen, as we were kissing, I put my hand on his chest, and then a finger between the buttons on his shirt, to feel his hairy chest. Well, I had an embarrassing and intense ejaculation. He held me very tight, kissed my neck and told me something that I’ve never forgotten, “You’re very special, Mark … I love you.” Then he kissed my neck again, and ran down the stairs to the subway.

  • nuwansenfilmsen

    Get away from family and country ASAP. And have sex pronto. Or else you’d remain a lonely untouched virgin for 38 years and counting, stuck in a narrow minded country with anxiety meds, and other ailments. Not getting married, ’cause you are nice enough not wanting to ruin two lives. And nobody to help you, but yourself. Self soothing and blogging your way out of misery. Run when you are still young. And don’t trust people easily, they’ll break your trust and hurt you badly. Take Care.
    That’s what I’d say.

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